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…
Brentford manager Thomas Frank could have a battle on his hands if he wants to hold onto his star striker Ollie Watkins, amid reports in the Daily Star, that Chelsea are considering a move for the 24-year-old front-man.
Blues boss Frank Lampard has set his sights on adding a striker to his ranks before the January window closes and with 18 goals already notched up by Watkins this season in an impressive season for Brentford, a move across West London cannot be ruled out.
So would Watkins be a good signing for the Blues and is he good enough for them?
“This would make no sense at all and I can’t see it happening.
“Frank Lampard has been moaning in the press a lot recently that the team need to be more clinical and ruthless in the final third and that suggests they need a proven player.
“Whilst I think Watkins is a terrific player and certainly capable of making the step up to the Premier League, playing for a side that want to be in the Champions League is another level entirely. Plus, money isn’t an issue for Chelsea, so they don’t need to take risks on someone who may do well, they can go out and get someone who has scored goals in the top-flight.
“He’s not a clear upgrade on Tammy Abraham or any of the wide forwards that Chelsea have so it would be a pretty pointless and very surprising transfer.”
Can you get 100% in our Brentford quiz? Go on give it a go now!
“Few players have been as exciting and pleasing to watch this season that Ollie Watkins. The 23-year-old is thriving in his new no.9 role and under Brentford’s Danish boss Thomas Frank, and Watkins is a real symbol of the good work going on at Brentford.
“Watkins is the catalyst, the V8 engine behind Brentford’s ‘BMW’ front-line – Said Benrahma, Bryan Mbeumo and Watkins, and it’s no surprise that a team like Chelsea are showing an interest. They’re just around the corner from Brentford, and Frank Lampard is desperate to land a striker.
“It’s a huge step-up to go from Griffin Park to Stamford Bridge. Lampard won’t be expecting Watkins to come in and fire Chelsea into the top-four, but I could really see Watkins slotting into Lampard’s Chelsea side nicely – he’s very similar to Tammy Abraham in the type of striker he is, and would give him some stern competition.
“Competition is a necessity in any football team, and Watkins would give that and then some. With 18 goals in the league this season, he’s the joint top-scorer with Aleksandar Mitrovic, and now we know that he’s a natural no.9 – it’d inevitably take time for him to adjust to the Premier League, but I really think he’ll go on to big things.”
“This could be a useful signing for Chelsea.
“Watkins has been hugely impressive for Brentford this season, with his impact since moving into that central role in the Bees’ attack suggesting he is capable of adapting to changes in his situation.
“That clinical instinct suggests he could make an impact for Frank Lampard’s side, with his ability to adapt to that role so quickly certainly a promising sign for any potential step up to the Premier League with a move to Stamford Bridge, something Chelsea themselves should be confident about, given the success Tammy Abraham is enjoying after his loan in the second-tier with Aston Villa last season.
“Even so, with the amount of time there is remaining on Watkins’ contract, and his importance to Brentford, you feel the Bees will not be willing to let him go easily any time soon, meaning Chelsea may well need a big offer if they are to secure this signing, and it will be interesting to see if that is something they are willing to come up with.”