Brighton have been touted as one of the leading contenders to sign Ollie Watkins from Brentford in the summer transfer window.
Brighton & Hove Independent reported that the Seagulls are among the favourites with some bookmakers to land the 24-year-old in the coming weeks following a tremendous season in west London which has apparently led to an £18m release clause being attached to his contract.
According to Brighton & Hove Independent, Graham Potter’s side could be battling with the likes of Aston Villa, Leeds, West Ham, West Brom and Fulham for the striker.
Watkins was hugely prolific for Brentford in the 2019/20 season, scoring 26 goals as they reached the Championship play-off final, where their Premier League dreams came crashing down after defeat to Fulham at Wembley on Tuesday night.
While that was his highest return for a single campaign, it was by no means a complete flash in the pan, as he has hit double figures in the league alone in each of the last four seasons (as per TransferMarkt).
If Brighton turning to Brentford to try and land a potent centre-forward is a tale which sounds familiar, then it should – just over a year ago, they raided the Bees to bring Neal Maupay to the Amex Stadium in a £20m transfer after he hit 28 goals for them in the 2018/19 season.
The Frenchman’s tally came in 4,023 minutes of football, giving him a return of one goal per 143.68 minutes. Watkins’ 26 goals in the season just finished were scored in 4,456 minutes (one goal every 171.38 minutes) – not quite as regular as Maupay but still a very impressive return.
The Brentford route has served Brighton well in the past, with Maupay taking his fine form with him to the Amex by hitting 10 Premier League goals in his first season with the Seagulls.
Like the Frenchman, Watkins is a proven scorer at Championship level who almost got the Bees into the Premier League. Based on Maupay’s success in Sussex, it’s no wonder that Brighton have been linked with Watkins, who looks very capable of stepping up a division.
Would you like to see Brighton signing Ollie Watkins?
The only trouble for the Seagulls could be trying to fend off what looks like strong competition for his signature, if the bookmakers are to be believed.
Brighton fans, do you think Watkins would be even better than Maupay if he ends up at the Amex? Comment below with your views!
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