Aston Villa journalist Gregg Evans has voiced his delight for Ollie Watkins following the striker’s late call-up to the England squad.
The Athletic‘s David Ornstein revealed on Monday that Gareth Southgate had added Watkins to his squad for the Three Lions’ March fixtures against Switzerland and the Ivory Coast in a pair of friendlies at Wembley over the coming days.
With only two more international windows left after this one before Southgate picks his squad for the World Cup in Qatar, this development bodes well for the 26-year-old, who was notified about his call-up following the 1-0 defeat against Arsenal on Saturday and is poised to join up with his England team-mates today.
Watkins has earned five caps for his country up to this point, the last of which came in October against Hungary.
The Athletic’s Villa correspondent Evans reacted to Ornstein’s update on Monday morning, sharing a link to the latter’s article from that publication.
Evans wrote on Twitter: “Great news for Ollie Watkins” in relation to the Villa striker’s call-up to the latest England squad.
Watkins may be somewhat disappointed with his goal return so far this season. He has only netted seven times in 26 Premier League appearances, leaving him on course to finish up on around 10 goals.
That would be considerably lower than his tally of 14 in his debut top-flight season in 2020/21, whereas he would surely have been expecting to take a step forward this term.
Nonetheless, there are only two English centre-forwards – Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy – who have scored more non-penalty goals than Watkins in the top flight this season, and the latter has retired from international football.
On that basis, you could argue that the £31.5m-rated Villa frontman is still worthy of selection for England.
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