Aston Villa must avoid making a major howler this summer as news emerges of Spurs’ transfer interest in Ollie Watkins.
Reports from Football Insider had previously claimed Liverpool are keen on bringing in a new forward before next season and that they like the look of Watkins.
Now, Dean Smith’s side are set to face even more of a battle to keep hold of last summer’s star signing, with fellow Premier League side Spurs said to be eyeing the striker up too.
According to new reports, the Lilywhites have put Watkins high up on their transfer short-list should they lose Harry Kane this summer, with Southampton’s Danny Ings also said to be one of the names they’re looking at.
Make no mistake about it, while Jack Grealish would be a massive loss for Villa were he to leave, losing Watkins would be a hammer blow for Smith too, and it’s no wonder Lee Hendrie has insisted his former club must desperately keep him this summer.
After suggestions initially emerged that Liverpool were interested in signing Watkins, the ex-Villa star told FFC: “If you’re going to start selling those players to the bigger clubs, how are you meant to compete? I get that you’re possibly going to get £60m for someone, but then who do you go and buy that’s going to replace Ollie Watkins?
“You’ve got to go and spend decent money on someone to go and bring him in and then it could possibly be a gamble.”
Given how he has performed in his first season with Aston Villa, it’s only logical to think that Watkins could go to even greater heights with a full campaign of Premier League football under his belt.
The striker led Villa’s charge up the table, bagging 16 goals in all competitions and netting in home and away fixtures against Liverpool (including a hat-trick at Villa Park) and also against Arsenal.
It’s no surprise then that the likes of Liverpool and Spurs both have their eye on signing a “machine” like Watkins, and it will leave Smith very worried about trying to hold on to his main man up front.
Were the Villa hierarchy to decide that they should cash in on Watkins, Smith may not forgive them. The Villa boss worked with the striker back at Brentford, and then brought him to Villa Park and clearly has a real rapport and relationship with him, and the 25-year-old’s performances have been a real vindication of that faith.
Chucking that all away for a quick buck, even if it might be a decent sum of money, would have Smith absolutely fuming.
Meanwhile, Villa are eyeing this free agent…