Aston Villa: Gerrard 'wants' £28m star at Villa Park next season

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Aston Villa supporters ‘would not stand for’ the sale of Ollie Watkins to West Ham United, according to Daily Star journalist Paul Brown.

The 26-year-old is reportedly being tracked by the east London outfit as they look to reinforce their forward line, but his departure is unlikely to go down well with his current club.

What is the latest news involving Watkins?

Watkins has cemented his status as a key player for Villa since arriving from Brentford in a £28 million deal back in September 2020, registering 25 goals and six assists in 71 appearances.

And according to West Ham insiders Claret & Hugh, David Moyes is keeping close tabs on the versatile attacker’s situation ahead of a potential move.

It’s claimed that Watkins is the Hammers’ ‘number one target’ ahead of the summer transfer window, although Steven Gerrard has no intention of sanctioning his sale.

The England international, who has been dubbed a “machine”, has started 20 of Gerrard’s 22 Premier League game reign at Villa Park and is likely to command a sizeable fee from any potential suitor.

What has Brown said about Watkins?

Brown believes that Villa fans and Gerrard would not be happy with Watkins’ exit, especially to a side on a ‘similar level’ to the Midlands outfit.

He told GiveMeSport: “If they were to let him go, it would need to be for a fee where they could sign probably two players to replace him, I think, otherwise the fans would not stand for it.

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“And I’m sure the manager does not want Ollie Watkins going anywhere, especially to a team that you would probably think are on a similar level to Villa.

“If it was a City or Liverpool coming in for him, it would be harder to say no, but I’m sure Villa would try and say no to West Ham.”

Would losing Watkins be a big blow?

Summer signing Danny Ings is the only other striking option in Villa’s first-team squad, meaning a replacement would surely need to be brought in before Watkins is allowed to leave.

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Kent Nielsen - Aston Villa

Do you know this obscure Aston Villa footballer from the 1990s?

The Exeter City academy graduate is also the club’s top scorer this season with nine goals in all competitions, while he has also led from the front with his intelligent pressing.

If Villa want to progress on the pitch next term following a frustrating campaign, then keeping hold of Watkins could be crucial to their plans.

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