Crystal Palace made a massive mistake in the summer transfer window by not signing Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins…
A report at the time from The Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg and Ed Aarons revealed that Roy Hodgson’s side were battling with Premier League rivals Aston Villa to sign Watkins from Brentford in the summer.
The report revealed that Palace almost signed the striker for £10m the summer beforehand but faced fierce competition from Dean Smith’s side, who were looking to add more firepower to their attack after avoiding relegation.
In the end, Watkins moved to Villa for a club record fee of £28m, whilst the Eagles ended up signing Michy Batshuayi on a season-long loan deal from Chelsea instead.
After a promising start to the season with a 1-0 win over Southampton, followed by a 3-1 win away at Manchester United, coupled with the fact their new signings had started to settle in well, Palace fans could have been forgiven for feeling a little optimistic.
However, things would soon take a turn for the worse, as Hodgson’s side suffered back-to-back defeats to Everton and Chelsea respectively before the international break. Batshuayi has made three appearances in the Premier League, but has failed to score so far, via WhoScored.
On the other hand, Watkins, who earns wages worth £75,000-per-week, has continued his fine form for Brentford at Villa Park. The 24-year-old, who is comfortable playing as an attacking midfielder or further forward, has shown that he is a potent goalscorer – he has already scored three goals in four games in the Premier League this season.
When you compare that to Palace’s options this season, well, then it’s a bit embarrassing really. Only Wilfried Zaha has scored more with four from five, whilst only Andros Townsend has managed to create more assists.
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith insists he is “something special”, after Watkins scored a hat-trick against Premier League champions Liverpool at Villa Park.
Even Jurgen Klopp spoke of his sheer admiration, as he admitted that the Englishman was “undefendable.” Whilst he may not have received an England callup quite just yet, he’s definitely a player who Steve Parish should have brought to Selhurst Park.
Watkins would’ve made a massive difference for Hodgson’s side, who could only muster one shot on target against Brighton in the A23 derby.
AND in other news, Steve Parish must return for Crystal Palace target Ismaila Sarr in January…