A player who has declared the prospect of a move to Arsenal his “dream” has been tipped to play in the Premier League next season by Sky Sports pundit Scott Minto.
Brentford forward Ollie Watkins has been sensational for his side this season, weighing in with 22 Championship goals and three assists.
Bees boss Thomas Frank shifted the 24-year-old from out wide to up front in wake of Neal Maupay’s move to Brighton, which has proven a masterstroke.
Last month, Brentford striker Ollie Watkins admitted that securing a switch to Arsenal would be his dream, in conversation with the Sports Gazette. after winning the EFL Player of the Year gong at the London Football Awards.
After picking up the trophy, he was asked by Sports Gazette reporter Callum Room about a prospective move to Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal.
“Yeah, the dream. That’s the dream to play for Arsenal one day”, Watkins replied. “But you know, it’s a long shot.”
Minto deemed Watkins the best player in the Championship this season, writing on Sky Sports: “Watkins was an extremely talented player before this season, but in a completely different position. Once Neal Maupay left Brentford, though, he started scoring straight away.
“Everyone thought he would go back out wide eventually, but he has taken his game to another level and done what a goal scorer needs to do. All his goals – except for one – have come from inside the box and he knows where he needs to be. He looks a born goal scorer.
“For him to be playing like a seasoned striker, and leading the line in the way he has, I’ll be honest I didn’t see it coming. To score 22 league goals from almost nowhere makes him the revelation of the season for me.
“He is another Brentford player who will be playing in the Premier League next season, even if they don’t go up.”
With Arsenal strikers Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette facing uncertain futures at the Emirates Stadium, Mikel Arteta could well be on the lookout for a new striker.
Although some quarters may prefer a marquee name from another top flight in Europe or elsewhere in the world, Watkins has certainly shown he’s a cut above in the second tier of English football.
Indeed, Frank compared Watkins to Cristiano Ronaldo earlier this season, telling the Wandsworth Times in August: “It’s a big comparison so I don’t want to go down that route but, in a way, I’ve mentioned it now.
“He’s like a Ronaldo-type, that he can play as a nine or he can play to the side, or he can play as a 10, but because he’s so versatile he has abilities you can benefit off in all positions.”
The plaudits keep coming Watkins’ way and surely it’s only a matter of time before Arsenal move for a player whose dream is to play for the Gunners – and who has all the credentials to suggest he’d be a hit at the Emirates Stadium.