Ollie Watkins will be on the radar for many Premier League clubs this window, so Sheffield United should act while they have the chance.
The Brentford winger has had two good seasons at Griffin Park and would add some needed pace to United’s side, as they prepare themselves for the Premier League.
Transfer talk between Watkins and Sheffield United has cooled over the past week, as Sky Sports reported their interest at the end of May.
Watkins scored 12 goals in all competitions last year, and with his ability to play on the left, right and centre, it is hard to envisage clubs not going in for him.
It was Watkins’ second year at Griffin Park after joining from his home club Exeter City. The forward has already had 93 appearances with 23 goals.
If Sheffield United want their man, then it might suit them to get the business done early, before other clubs are forced to buy the winger.
Crystal Palace and Southampton are also interested in Watkins, who both arguably have bigger clout than Sheffield United when it comes to this transfer, which is why United shouldn’t wait for them to express further interest.
For example, if Zaha was to be snapped up from Palace, then Watkins would be an understandable replacement – you feel if a Palace or Southampton go in for him, then they don’t have much of a chance.
Also, in a summer where Brentford’s forwards are the subject of much speculation, making a move before bids come in for Neal Maupay and Said Benrahma might be wise, as Brentford won’t want to sell all three – though they might have their hands tied. Either way, it will make things a lot simpler if they didn’t have to deal with a club who just sold their other two best players.
While Sheffield United rarely play a system which incorporates wingers, they will be wanting to add more versatility to their squad as they take on the Premier League. Watkins will allow them to play with more pace on the break, and even if he is not utilised on the wing, he can definitely add something extra as a second striker.
No fee has been reported but it is likely to be more than the £7m he is valued at by transfermarkt. Anything below £15million could be good value for the 23-year-old, who should be able to retain that value if he has a successful season.