Leeds United must land Marcelo Bielsa one man in particular if they are to succeed in the big time next season…
According to The Athletic’s Phil Hay, Brentford striker Ollie Watkins was “a name mentioned” to the reliable Whites correspondent this week, meaning he could be someone that the Yorkshire giants are indeed taking a look at.
Elsewhere, it has been reported that the Bees value their leading talisman in excess of £25m following their failure to gain promotion in the Championship playoff final.
Aston Villa, who are managed by Watkins’ ex-coach Dean Smith, are also keen on landing the impressive forward.
The striking position is an interesting headache for Bielsa, he clearly likes Patrick Bamford but he shouldn’t sniff away from upgrading that position now they’re back in the top-flight.
Despite hitting 16 goals for the season, Bamford was hugely wasteful and was one major cause of Leeds ranking inside the bottom five for chance conversion – the title-winners scored just 12.5% of their opportunities per Transfermarkt.
Watkins scored a whopping 26 goals in the second tier last season, averaging only 2.7 shots per game as well as 1.5 key passes and 0.8 dribbles, via WhoScored.
Meanwhile, United’s number nine scored ten fewer goals yet averaged 0.5 more shots each appearance. The difference is staggering.
These are just further ticks next to his name on the scouting list.
His ability to run defences ragged is exactly what Bielsa needs in a striker next season, and the club should absolutely pay up to clinch him.
AND in other news, Leeds mustn’t hand a second chance to £10m flop…