One candidate could be Brentford’s Ollie Watkins – a regular on rumored Villa as a potential target for the club and a well-known player under current head coach Dean Smith.
Smith handled Watkins during his time at Brentford and admitted the forward was on his radar longer than that.
“Young Ollie Watkins – I tried to sign him a year ago from Exeter City, but he wanted to stay another year,” Smith said on Sky Sports today.
Watkins scored 13 goals in that extra season at Exeter before eventually moving to Brentford, and hasn’t looked back.
Since then, he has hit double-digit goals every season.
“I love that even at a young age he was loaned to Weston Super-Mare and scored fourteen bizarre goals there at a young age. He has a good attitude and he doesn’t stop working. It’s a joy to work with, ”added Forgeron.
However, since Watkins’ turn as a center forward, he’s been just an eye opener. Watkins has scored 25 goals this season – his best comeback yet, and Smith knew he would be able to fill the void left by Neal Maupay.
“I played it several times on the attacker. I always told him he would be a forward, he likes to play from the left and we thought it was the best place for him to go for goals – but we played him in the middle. – forward to Bristol City and he ran them to shreds. Maupay came over and scored the winner and Ollie was disappointed he didn’t score. It is a sign for me of a better striker, he will do well. ”
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After confirming their place in the Premier League for the 20/21 season, Aston Villa will have a much easier time retaining their key players in the current transfer window.
And that doesn’t just apply to Jack Grealish – linked with a move to Manchester United.
Trezeguet, who established himself as a key player and star in the Villa running race, has been linked for a few months with a return to Turkey.
While Villa will look to improve on his first three, Trezeguet has seen a dramatic return to form precisely when the Villans demanded it.
The Egyptian winger signed from Kasimpasa last year has enjoyed a massive boost in his reputation and a Super Lig comeback seemed to be on the cards with Villa heading towards relegation.
However, the situation for the player and the club has changed – Turkish football writer Ertan Süzgün reporting that despite interest from three big Turkish clubs, Villa is not too interested in transferring Trezeguet.
Freshly crowned Super Lig champions Istanbul Başakşehir along with perennial rivals Galatasaray and Fenerbahce have contacted Trezeguet’s agent William D’Avila to prepare an offer for the player.
According to Süzgün’s report, this would be a fully repaid loan rather than a direct transfer.
Still, Villa will need to press a lot more to consider parting with a player who will remain a key part of the squad going forward no matter what happens in the transfer window. A loan probably won’t float their boat.
Manchester United and Jack Grealish bid
Manchester United are biding their time in their pursuit of Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is known to be an admirer of Grealish and the 24-year-old playmaker has been closely linked with a move to Old Trafford since the start of the year.
United are prioritizing a move for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho, which has cast doubt on where Grealish will start the new season.
According to the Daily Mail, Solskjaer is still looking to add Grealish to his ranks, but any signing offer from the midfielder will come “late in the window”.
The report adds that Grealish is “no longer a transfer priority” for United with Sancho at the top of their results list.
Villa Grealish, which has three years left on its contract, is valued at around £ 80million and owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens are unlikely to budge.
Grealish led the way for Villa last season with eight goals and six assists in 36 Premier League starts.
Smith sur Benrahma
Said Benrahma has existed as a constant transfer link for Aston Villa over the past year.
First linked after Villa’s final victory over County Derby, the breathtaking winger was not destined to move to Villa Park with an attractive deal failing to land on the Brentford table.
Now, with the Bees falling to Fulhamin in the play-off final, it’s hard to believe he won’t end up in the Premier League anyway – and has been linked with a move to Chelsea and Villa among others clubs.
Villa head coach Dean Smith knows Benrahma well and helped bring the winger to London as part of the Brentford scout squad on a scout mission.
“We were fortunate to see young Benrahma in the French second division on loan from Nice,” Smith said during Sky Sports coverage of tonight’s play-off final.
“I really liked what I saw – he has it all. Sometimes it takes a while for people to adjust to a new country, but I was convinced it would have an impact. ”
Brentford signed Benrahma after a loan spell at Chateauroux where he scored nine goals and put in five more.
Fees of less than £ 3million have delivered 27 goals and 22 assists for Brentford over the past two seasons – and now the Premier League is somehow waiting for Benrahma.