A player who has declared the prospect of a move to Arsenal as his “dream” has been named in a five-man shortlist of Championship players ready to play for England at Euro 2021, compiled by The Sun pundit Danny Higginbotham.
Earlier this month, Brentford striker Ollie Watkins admitted that securing a switch to Arsenal would be his dream, in conversation with the Sports Gazette.
Watkins has been in sensational form for the Championship side this season, weighing in with 22 goals and three assists in the league prior to the suspension of English football.
As well as helping him to second place in the league’s top scorer table behind Aleksandar Mitrovic, the 24-year-old’s exploits also saw him win 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.”
The 24-year-old has impressed so much that Higginbotham believes he is good enough to make the England squad next year.
“He spent last season playing wide but the sale of Neal Maupay to Brighton saw him move inside and he has thrived since,” he wrote in The Sun.
“Currently the second-top goalscorer in the Championship, Watkins is certainly catching the attention of some top sides.
“He has wonderful pace and movement and he is so strong. Physically, he has all the attributes to be a top centre-forward in the Prem.
“He seems very level-headed. I remember watching him come through at Exeter and even then you knew he was going places. A step up to the national side would not faze him.”
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.
The plaudits keep coming Watkins’ way – Brentford manager Thomas Frank previously compared him to Cristiano Ronaldo – and Higginbotham’s comments about him, not to mention deeming him good enough for England, should be additional food for thought for the Gunners coach and board.