This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Aston Villa are very keen on securing a deal for Brentford star Ollie Watkins, as per the Telegraph.
The former Exeter City forward has enjoyed an electric campaign for Thomas Frank’s Brentford, slamming in 26 league goals as the west London side missed out on promotion after losing to Fulham in the Championship Play-Off Final.
The 24-year-old has an £18 million release clause in his contract and this has alerted Villa, Sheffield United and Palace to him.
Villans boss Dean Smith is of course no stranger to Watkins having managed him during his time as boss of Brentford.
So, would Villa be a good club for Watkins to join? Would he be a good addition for the Premier League side?
The team here at FLW assess…
This is the signing that Villa have been crying out for all season – a proven goalscorer who can consistently hit top form when his team needs him to do so.
I have been more impressed by his workrate at Brentford than anything else, I have never seen a forward player at Championship level press with the kind of intensity that Watkins does.
A move to the Premier League now seems like an inevitability after Brentford missed out on promotion and it will be fully deserved for a player who has progressed his game tenfold since breaking through at Exeter City.
Villa will have to move fast on this one as I feel he will be snapped up in the very near future.
I see this being a genuinely top-class signing.
Watkins is ready for a shot at the Premier League, he was up there with Mitrovic for the Golden Boot in the Championship and I fully expect him to only get even better.
£18m is a reasonable fee for a player of his talent and potential, too, whilst Dean Smith could well hold an advantage in the race given his Brentford connections.
I think whoever gets Watkins will be delighted with the deal and Villa should be all in for it.
This would be an excellent bit of business.
Watkins’ strong performances in front of goal have been one of the main reasons as to why Brentford challenged for promotion into the Premier League this season.
But with the Bees falling short in their bid to reach the top-flight, it hasn’t come as a surprise to see him attracting interest in the summer transfer window.
He’s got age on his side, and has shown that he can score goals at a high level in the Championship, so I think he’s more than capable of making the step up to the Premier League next season.
Aston Villa could certainly be the ideal destination for him as well, as they don’t have a striker that offers pace and strength going forward in attack.
Watkins has those attributes in his locker, and I think £18million would be a steal in today’s market, especially when so many other teams will be entering the race to sign him.