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 close to securing a £28m deal with Brentford which could rise to £33m with add-ons for star striker Ollie Watkins, as per the BBC.
The 24-year-old Bees attacker has been a man in demand all summer following a sensational 2019/20 campaign, where he notched 26 league goals to put the west London side on the brink of Premier League football.
So, what do you make of this news and more specifically the hefty fee that the Villans are set to fork out? Is the former Exeter City man worth that much?
The team here at FLW take a look…..
It’s no shock to me that Villa have pushed hard for Watkins, given their need for a striker and the 24-year-old’s impressive performances for Brentford.
He shouldered the responsibility of being the Bees number nine fantastically last season and is deserving of a chance in the Premier League.
The price tag is a surprise, however, and you have to credit Brentford for their negotiating if the deal does end up over £30 million.
Watkins is a fantastic player but Villa are paying a little over the odds for me.
That said, if he proves himself a prolific goalscorer at Premier League level that will be easily forgotten.
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I’m a bit surprised.
This is exciting for Villa and I think he is going to be a real hit for them but I didn’t think they’d be paying this much for him.
It shows how much cash the Villa owners have if they can spend this kind of money in the current situation whilst Brentford have done it again!
They’re getting all that money in, have Ivan Toney already signed and ready to go and I am sure more signings could well follow now.
It’s a good move for all involved in truth, and I look forward to seeing Watkins play in the Premier League but I still think it’s perhaps slightly over in terms of price.
Nevertheless, it’s not massively over-valued and Villa have their man, that’s all they’ll care about.
This is eye-opening to say the least.
Watkins was brilliant for Brentford last season, and it was a shame that his season wasn’t capped off with promotion into the Premier League.
With 26 goals in 50 appearances for Thomas Frank’s side last season in the Championship, he’s clearly destined for bigger and better things in the future.
I’m not surprised at all to see him being linked with a move to Aston Villa, as they’re the sort of club that need a striker of Watkins’ quality in their side ahead of the 2020/21 season.
But for a fee which could rise to £33million, I think it’s a bit too much to be paying for a striker that doesn’t have experience of playing in the Premier League.
There are safer options out there for that price in my eyes, and this is a risky move by Dean Smith’s side.