Leeds United could be offered Ollie Watkins before deadline day on September 1st…
That’s according to transfer insider Dean Jones, who commented on the future of the England international to GIVEMESPORT this week.
There have been reports suggesting that Aston Villa would be willing to sell the 26-year-old as he and manager Steven Gerrard ‘do not see eye-to-eye’ and with Leeds thought to be on the lookout for a new striker, Watkins could well be offered to them by his agents.
“What would happen in a situation like this is, typically, intermediaries start targeting obvious clubs when a player is made to feel like they don’t have much of a future,” the journalist claimed.
“So, if that is the case with Watkins, like it’s been reported, then I would expect Leeds, Crystal Palace, Everton also be offered his services in the next week or so just to gauge how much interest there is out there.”
Villa paid £28m for Watkins back in 2020 and it very much remains to be seen how much it would cost to sign him this month, though if that opportunity becomes available, then it’s one that director of football Victor Orta must consider.
As we saw on Saturday, Patrick Bamford’s injury troubles will just not go away as he was withdrawn before half-time in their 2-2 draw with Southampton. He was only able to play nine times in the Premier League last season, so the frontline is certainly a cause for concern heading into the rest of the campaign.
Leeds boss Jesse Marsch cannot afford to be without a reliable alternative and he could find that in Watkins, who in fewer games has provided more goals in the English top-flight than his fellow countryman.
Not only is he younger but the Villa frontman has rarely missed time through injury, so it would make sense for him to become a target. This weekend, he showed off more creative exploits as he assisted both of Villa’s goals in their 2-1 win over Everton, whilst the Leeds star is yet to score or assist in 2022/23.
His style of play could be an ideal fit for Marsch’s attacking, high-press system at Elland Road, too.
“I really think he’s making a big difference actually, to Villa, I think that he’s given them a new dimension and his hold-up play is great, he creates space for others and that’s helping the midfielders flourish,” claimed The Athletic’s Gregg Evans not long after he arrived at Villa Park.
On the above evidence, it could be therefore wise for Orta and co to make their move for Watkins. Ultimately, he’s a proven striker in the top-flight, one that appears fitter and more prolific than Bamford.
The pair would be the perfect two to battle for that starting place under Marsch, so Leeds must take this opportunity if the aforementioned reports are true.
AND in other news, Leeds could now miss out on £25m “amazing signing”, it would be an Orta blunder…