Chelsea could battle it out with London rivals Arsenal over a potential swoop for Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins in January.
Ollie Watkins, 27, has hit double figures for Aston Villa every season since moving from Brentford in 2020. He netted 15 goals in the Premier League last season as the Villans finished seventh to qualify for the Europa Conference League. The striker has been a key figure in Aston Villa’s revival under Unai Emery, whilst becoming a full England international.
Watkins’ form for Villa has not gone unnoticed, with Chelsea and Arsenal reportedly keeping tabs on him. Manchester United were also understood to be interested in the England international in the summer before they splashed big on Rasmus Hojlund.
Ollie Watkins in contract talks with Villa amid Premier League interest
Both Chelsea and Arsenal could face a tricky job in recruiting Watkins as Villa have already opened talks with him over a new deal. The England international currently has less than two years left on his current deal, but given he has become a key figure in Emery’s setup, Villa are keen to ensure the striker commits his future by penning a new long-term contract as quickly as possible.
Chelsea have endured a difficult start to the 2023/24 season, winning just one of their first six Premier League games. Mauricio Pochettino’s side are royally struggling for goals and have not managed to score in their past three Premier League games, with their last goal in all competitions coming all the way back in August. Thus, it is no surprise that they are already planning to recruit a new striker in January and have set their sights on Watkins.
As for Arsenal, Mikel Arteta wants to add more firepower to his attack as he looks to balance the Premier League with Champions League football. The Gunners do have Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah as striker options but if they are to challenge Manchester City for the title whilst making significant progress in the Champions League, they will do well with another body up front. And it looks like Arteta has added Watkins to his list of targets.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.