Ollie Watkins' transfer dream – boyhood club, secret chat, family stance, Villa future – Football News

Ollie Watkins' transfer dream – boyhood club, secret chat, family stance, Villa future

The Aston Villa striker made an instant impact in England’s clash against the Netherlands (Image: UEFA via Getty Images)

Ollie Watkins could find himself a wanted man this summer after his England heroics. The Aston Villa frontman netted the decisive goal in England’s 2-1 victory over the Netherlands and has been a revelation this season.

He scored 19 times and provided 13 assists for Villa as they secured a return to the Champions League for the first time since the 1982/83 season. Arsenal could lead a transfer chase over England hero Ollie Watkins who has previously made clear his affinity for the north London club.

Watkins’ stellar form saw him rewarded with a new five-year deal at Villa, with his value now estimated at a staggering €100million (£85.7million). However, if any club is willing to splash the cash for Watkins, it seems the striker – and his family – would prefer it to be Arsenal, reports the Mirror.

The lifelong Gunners fan caused heartbreak among his fellow supporters last season when he scored in Villa’s 2-0 win over Arsenal at the Emirates, effectively ending their hopes of a first Premier League title since 2004. Watkins also scored against the north Londoners in 2020, when he revealed that his grandad and uncle, both staunch Arsenal fans, were less than thrilled with his goal.

“I’m not sure my grandad or uncle Baz are going to be too happy,” Watkins confessed to Sky Sports after the match. “They are Arsenal fans and I am an Arsenal fan myself – but I’m buzzing. I am sure they will love it really. I am over the moon.”

Netherlands v England: Semi-Final - UEFA EURO 2024

The 28-year-old shot England to the Euro 2024 final after his winning strike against the Netherlands (Image: Offside via Getty Images)

The forward has never hidden his affection for the Gunners, admitting in the same year that his ultimate dream is to play for the club. Speaking at the 2020 London Football Awards, the then-Brentford star revealed: “That’s the dream, to play for Arsenal one day. But, you know, it’s a long shot”.

Following in the footsteps of his idol Thierry Henry is a goal for the Devon-born player, who previously disclosed a secret conversation he had with Declan Rice last season amid rumours that Watkins was on Arsenal’s radar. Rather than discussing whether Watkins would join Rice in the iconic red kit, the pair talked about Villa’s chances of winning the Europa Conference League ahead of their semi-final showdown against Olympiacos, a match which Villa ultimately lost 6-2 on aggregate.

Speaking to TNT Sports, he shared: “I spoke to Dec (Declan Rice) at England. [He was] confident that we’re going to win it. We’re confident ourselves but you never know what’s going to happen. You never know with these teams. Lille put us under a lot of pressure and it’s going to be difficult but I think we have got the squad to do it.”

Despite Aston Villa’s firm stance on keeping their star player, it is yet to be seen if Arsenal would contemplate a substantial offer for Watkins. The striker is undoubtedly in the prime of his career and on the verge of making his mark in English football history.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1921772/ollie-watkins-arsenal-transfer-euro-2024-villa