Why Sheffield United should go all out for Ollie Watkins in January
According to the Sun, Sheffield United are weighing up a £15million raid on Brentford for star man Ollie Watkins ahead of the January transfer window, with Chris Wilder on the lookout for another striker to bolster his attack even further.
The Blades splashed the cash in the summer to raid the Championship for attackers Callum Robinson and Oliver McBurnie, who came through the door at Bramall Lane from Preston North End and Swansea City respectively, while Lys Mousset was also brought in from Bournemouth as a part of a squad overhaul following promotion to the Premier League.
However, Sheffield United are apparently ready to dip into the market once again for a new striker in January, with Brentford’s Ollie Watkins on their radar.
The 23-year-old Torquay-born ace was on the radar of Crystal Palace earlier in the summer but Eagles opted against making a move for him due to the Bees’ asking price. (h/t Sun)
Watkins, though, might get a chance to follow in the footsteps of his former teammate Neal Maupay, who earned a move to the top-flight with Brighton in the summer window.
The 23-year-old has proven his versatility to play as an out-and-out No.9 in the Championship this term, setting the stage on fire with a tally of 7 goals in 11 league outings under Thomas Frank.
The 23-year-old, who racked up as many as 10 goals and 6 assists in the previous campaign operating predominantly in wide roles on either side of the pitch, has been forced to shoulder the responsibility of leading the line at Graffin Park this term and he has passed the test with flying colours so far.
Watkins has already produced some scintillating displays in front of goal, including a couple of man-of-the-match performances in victories over Derby County and Barnsley, the latter of which yielded a stunning hat-trick.
Truth be told, the former Exeter City man has established himself as one of the hottest young attacking talents in the English second-tier and Sheffield United’s interest in securing his services shouldn’t come as a big surprise to the fans at Bramall Lane.
The likes of Robinson, McBurnie and Mousset have shared only three goals between them and their failure to find the net on a consistent basis has been one of the key takeaways from the Blades’ Premier League campaign so far.
If the first eight games are anything to go by, Chris Wilder’s side have shown the character and resilience to fight toe-to-toe with the big boys in the top-flight but a lack of goals could prove to be a major stumbling block in their bid for survival in the Premier League, as it has so often been the case with promoted teams over the years.
Sheffield United currently sit 13th in the standings with two wins and three draws but it is the unimpressive scoring record that is likely to be a cause of concern for Wilder moving forward in the campaign.
The Blades have only managed 7 goals in their first 8 games and that is clearly not good enough for any team.
To that end, a move for Ollie Watkins would definitely make a lot of sense for a number of reasons, given his versatility to play out wide on either flank and through the middle as an out-and-out striker.
Indeed, the 23-year-old’s arrival at Bramall Lane midway through the season could go a long way towards boosting Wilder’s squad dynamics, while his work rate to run the channels in the final third as well as his vision to create chances and proficiency in putting them away could possibly add another dimension and a much-needed X-Factor to the Blades’ attack.
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On top of that, Watkins, who is a proven source of goals and assists in the Championship, could be their best bet to bail them out of the second-tier next season should the worst happen.
Suffice to say, a deal for Ollie Watkins in January would be a real coup for Sheffield United and one that might make a telling difference in the second half of their campaign.