Aston Villa fans are used to being bombarded with unwanted transfer rumours during the pointless interruption breaks and following on from the almost endless Jack Grealish to…and John McGinn to…it seems some bright spark in a staff canteen has now decided it’s Ollie Watkins’ turn after a largely throwaway comment last season concerning Arsenal.
After Ollie scored the winner over The Gooners last season, a fan I believe, snapped a quick video of the now 25-year-old where he revealed his families love of the club, and his own personal admiration for a certain Thierry Henry.
As per The Mirror, he explained.
“That’s the dream to play for Arsenal one day. But it’s a long shot. It’s only because my family support them and stuff like that. But that’s a long-term (thing).”
“Thierry Henry. I’m an Arsenal fan, so Thierry Henry was my (favourite). He’s unbelievable to watch. He was the idol growing up really.”
So, whilst real news is thin on the ground, his words naturally become proof that Mikel Arteta potentially has his eye on Ollie as Alexandre Lacazette’s replacement with it expected he will move on as a free agent when his contract expires next summer.
Easy this speculation lark isn’t it.
With Ollie getting himself up and running for 2021/22 in our last game against Tottenham Hotspur, he more than proved what he was capable of doing at this level during our 2020/21 campaign and with him coming back from injury, his age, and the fact his partnership with Danny Ings is very much a work in progress, there are no doubts Ollie will improve again with time.
Having been called up by Gareth Southgate for England again, his stock is naturally on the rise and whilst fans will have to get used to some speculation about his future, it remains to be seen if Arsenal would even be a step up at this point in his career.
Given the money they spaffed last summer, even if there was a shred of truth here (which I very much doubt), could they even afford the fee we’d ask as next summer he still has three solid years left on his contract with us?
Oh and selling Emi Martinez and paying whatever it was for Aaron Ramsdale – this one isn’t happening is it.