Southampton must rue not signing Ollie Watkins last summer after the striker’s impressive debut campaign in the Premier League with Aston Villa, as the England international could have been a superb addition to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad.
The former Exeter City man enjoyed a superb 2019/20 campaign, contributing 26 goals and three assists in 49 Championship appearances for the Bees as they failed to win promotion at the final hurdle, losing 2-1 to Fulham in the play-off final.
A move to the Premier League was always likely to be on the cards after Thomas Frank’s side were consigned to another season in the second tier and Watkins made the switch to Villa Park, where he has been a fixture in Dean Smith’s side.
Watkins has contributed 21 goals and assists in all competitions this term, with 13 goals and five assists in the Premier League, which has helped him average an impressive 7.17 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
If we compare the Englishman’s stats with the players at Southampton, he would be the top scorer and top-rated performer this season had he posted the same figures at St Mary’s, so it seems clear that he would have been a stellar addition to the Austrian’s squad.
The Aston Villa ace also earned his first call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad in recent weeks and marked his debut with a goal in the 5-0 win against San Marino, which will surely have increased his value further.
Whilst he would have been an expensive signing for Southampton to make, he looks to have been a great investment for the future by Villa, as his value on Transfermarkt has increased to £28.8m. Robbie Fowler also tipped him for a move to Liverpool recently, suggesting that the Midlanders could be in line to make a profit in the near future.
Therefore, it was definitely a mistake by Southampton chief Martin Semmens to not push harder to sign the “outstanding” Watkins last summer, as he could have been a superb addition to Hasenhuttl’s squad.