Arsenal links with Aston Villa star resurface as pundit ‘would bring’ him instead of Osimhen

Ciaran McCarthy
Aston Villa duo Ollie Watkins and Douglas Luiz celebrate
Aston Villa duo Ollie Watkins and Douglas Luiz celebrate

Jay Bothroyd believes Arsenal should go after Ollie Watkins, as the Aston Villa striker “would be a good addition” if they “can’t get” the likes of Victor Osimhen.

Watkins has been linked with big clubs, namely Arsenal, before. Those links were helped by the fact that while he was a Brentford player, he suggested his “dream” was to play for the Gunners.

That was in 2020 – Arsenal finished eighth in both the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons. Watkins has since moved to Villa and been a very good asset in front of goal, scoring 14, 11 and then 15 Premier League goals in his three full seasons, so in hindsight it would have been a good move for the Gunners then.

Former Premier League striker Bothroyd has suggested after three seasons of banging goals in in the Premier League, Watkins is the type of player Mikel Arteta should be going after.

“I would bring Ollie Watkins to Arsenal. If I can’t get Osimhen and players like that, then I think he would be a good addition to the squad,” he said on Sky Sports.

Many Premier League outfits were interested in signing Osimhen in the summer – and for good reason after 26 Serie A goals last season – but the reported £129million valuation priced them all out.

Watkins is not too dissimilar a player, and obviously has the Premier League experience the Napoli forward is lacking.

That’s not to say Osimhen couldn’t convert his form if he moved to England, but it’s well known that Watkins can get goals in the Premier League.

He’d be a good asset for a big side, but Arsenal don’t really need a player like him at the moment. In terms of central striking talent, they have Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah.

On the wings, they have Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka, while Emile Smith Rowe and Leandro Trossard are very useful deputies.

Watkins is not likely to leave Villa, where he has been such a potent force, without knowing that he’d be in the reckoning for a starting spot wherever he was to go, and Arsenal can’t offer him that with the forward talent they have.

If a striker was to leave, the potential of a move could open up, but for now, Villa seems the best place for him.

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