After yesterday’s report that Ollie Watkins’ protracted move to Villa Park was near completion, the club today confirmed through official channels the 24 year old has joined on a 5 year deal.
Watkins arrives with a fine goalscoring pedigree having netted 26 times in the Championship, as Brentford just missed out on promotion to the Premier League last term.
The former Exeter City youngster, managed previously by Smith whilst he was boss at Griffin Park, tranfers for an initial £28 million. This exceptional fee could rise yet further, with Villa set to pay up to £33 million with add-ons.
Dean Smith now has to ponder another important question ahead of the new season; who will deliver the opportunities for Watkins to flourish in his first top flight season?
Contrary to our difficult league form last term, chance creation wasn’t particularly grim. Indeed, Jack Grealish was amongst the very best in terms of chance creation in the division, whilst Conor Hourihane contributed a number of important assists despite being in and out of the team.
What Villa did lack was a predatory and instinctive finisher in front of goal. With Wesley injured, Samatta a going concern and Davis arguably out of his depth, moving for a clinical striker has been a priority all summer.
Villa have been consistently rumoured to retain an interest Kosovan international Milot Rashica [Read more about him here]. The Werder Bremen attacking midfielder / winger continues to be linked with a host of clubs including Napoli, Brighton and newly promoted Leeds United.
Earlier reports of a mammoth switch to an elite level European club appear to have cooled, with the 24 year old’s €38m valuation now reduced to a more sensible €22-€25m.
The winger would undoutedly appeal, not just for the fact that he is entering the prime of his career, but that Rashica fired 11 vital goals and contributed 8 assists in a struggling Bundesliga side.
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