Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of Brentford striker Ollie Watkins for a club-record fee.
The 24-year-old was the joint-top scorer in the Championship last season with 26 goals, making Dean Smith eager to reunited with the man he took to London in the first place. He joins on a five-year-deal and for a reported fee of £28 million, potentially rising to £33 million with add-ons.
The now-former Brentford hitman developed a reputation for being mobile in the box and being a lethal finisher.
At 5’11, he is far from the tallest striker out there, but his attributes on the ball and in front of goal are rather similar to the last striker who scored 26 goals in the Championship. That man, of course, being former Villa loanee Tammy Abraham.
Abraham is two years younger than Watkins and a few inches taller, but their playing styles are incredibly similar. Dean Smith hasn’t made a change to his system since losing Abraham after the club was promoted to the Premier League and Villa have been crying out for a striker of that calibre ever since Abraham left.
Wesley, Ally Samatta and Borja Baston have all been drafted in to replace Abraham with mixed to poor results. Bringing in a player of a similar quality and style to Abraham should be exactly the catalyst Villa needed to restart their stuttering attack from last season.
Smiles all round
Dean Smith has spoken on his delight at bringing his former Brentford striker to Villa Park and heaped the praise onto his new recruit:
“Ollie has developed into one of the most sought-after strikers in the country and we are looking forward to seeing him show his great qualities in an Aston Villa shirt.
“He is a hugely determined character who has both the ability and the personality to succeed at the top-level”.
Watkins himself spoke about his excitement for his new club:
“I am so excited to join Aston Villa and reunite with Dean Smith as my head coach. I cannot wait to wear the famous claret and blue in the Premier League”.