Liverpool transfer news: Reds urged to make move for Ollie Watkins this summer

Ollie Watkins
(Image credit: Getty)

Robbie Fowler believes Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins would thrive at Liverpool.

Watkins has enjoyed an excellent season for Dean Smith’s side following his move from Brentford.

The 25-year-old has scored 15 goals in 36 appearances in all competitions this season, earning himself a first ever call-up to the England squad in the process.

Villa spent a club-record fee of £28m to sign Watkins last summer, with an additional £5m in add-ons.

However, they could face a fight to keep hold of him 12 months on, with Fowler opining that he is good enough to play for a bigger club.

“I look at him, and I see a striker who is prepared to learn, prepared to work. In fact, I spotted last year his work rate is incredible, and Dean Smith says he’s the best pressing centre-forward in the league,” the ex-Liverpool striker told the Daily Mirror.

“To me that’s significant. Because what do the top teams want? A forward who performs a crucial pressing role. Manchester City, Liverpool, [Manchester] United, Chelsea

"They all want a striker who performs the press with energy and intelligence, and does more than one job.

“Of course, they’d like one who scores too, but it’s not just about goalscoring any more.

“Far from it. Look at Roberto Firmino at Liverpool, look at City without a recognised No.9, and Chelsea sticking with [Timo] Werner. 

“I’m not trying to sell Watkins – honestly Villa fans! – but he’s taken the step up every time so far, and I can see him doing it again. To the very top level, if he can keep the trajectory of his work rate, attitude and mentality.

“Interestingly, Jurgen Klopp absolutely sang his praises a few weeks ago, and you can definitely see someone with his pressing ability – and the stats to go with it – doing well under that sort of manager.

And believe me, clubs like City and Liverpool with their massive analytics departments will have run those stats many times already. 

“Many people said the £28m Villa paid for Watkins was a gamble. Some said it was crazy. It looks neither now, and you wonder if it may just have been a shrewd investment. 

“I think he’ll go to the Euros with England, and I think he’s ready to step up again.”

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