According to a recent report from The Sun, Crystal Palace have joined the race for Brentford sensation Ollie Watkins. The 22-year-old enjoyed an outstanding season for the Bees in the Championship last time round and has since attracted interest from top-flight side Bournemouth, who have since been joined in pursuit of the winger by Roy Hodgson’s Palace.
Ultimately, while 27-year-old Townsend didn’t enjoy his best season in front of goal last term in netting only twice for the Eagles, his tally of eight assists in 36 Premier League appearances for the London-based club underlined the role he played in helping keep Hodgson’s side in the division – no one laid on more assists than the Englishman.
And given the role he played in leading the line in a more advanced role at times last season, and to good effect alongside fellow winger Wilfried Zaha, it’s clear that were he to leave this summer, Townsend would certainly need replacing.
And 22-year-old Watkins could well be the man to do just that.
The Englishman only made the move to Griffin Park back in 2017 after coming up through the ranks and beginning his senior career at Exeter City, but the winger adapted brilliantly to the rigours and demands of Championship football by producing the goods for Dean Smith’s side.
The 22-year-old scored ten goals and laid on five assists in 45 second tier games last season to help Brentford to a ninth place finish in the Championship, with Neal Maupay the only man at the club to net more than Watkins over the course of the campaign.
Thus, it’s clear that the former Exeter man has made huge strides in recent times and appears ready to make the step-up to the Premier League – there’s a reason both Palace and indeed Bournemouth are seeking his signature.
But with Townsend potentially on his way out of Selhurst Park this summer, Hodgson will need to find a replacement, and Brentford’s Watkins could well be the man for the job.
Palace fans… what do you think? Let us know!