By Pranav Shahaney

14th May, 2021 | 5:30pm

Ollie Watkins explains failed summer Leeds move

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins has revealed that there was transfer interest from Leeds United in the summer.

Watkins had an impressive campaign for Brentford in the Championship and it was certain that he was going to play Premier League football one way or another this season.

He played a pivotal role in guiding them to the play-offs final, but the Bees’ failure to win that game saw Watkins jump ship up to the Premier League.

The 25-year-old was on the radar of a host of Premier League clubs, including Leeds United, but he eventually ended up joining Aston Villa where he’s enjoyed a good first season in the top flight.

He’s impressed manager Dean Smith, who’s lauded him as ‘outstanding’. [Daily Mail]

Speaking to Laura Woods and Adebayo Akinfenwa on Sky Sports’ Super Six podcast, Watkins was asked about last summer and the transfer interest in him.

He said, “There was Leeds. Leeds were interested in me, but then they signed Rodrigo. Tottenham were interested in me. They made it clear that if Harry Kane’s fit, then he is going to play.”

Would’ve been good

While Watkins has played as an out-and-out striker, he’s also equally adept at playing as a wide player.

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank made a very interesting comparison to Cristiano Ronaldo, saying the Portuguese, much like Watkins started his career on the wings before drifting into central positions.

He said, per Sports Gazette, “Cristiano Ronaldo started his career as a winger and then became a striker and I hope Ollie can do something similar. Ollie has learnt to score striker goals.”

One thing that Marcelo Bielsa admires in players is their versatility and Watkins would’ve been an ideal forward for him, capable enough to play in all three attacking positions.

He’s also a tireless runner and would put in the hard yards without the ball. However, the club then decided to go for Rodrigo who hasn’t quite established himself as a regular.

Maybe Watkins had similar apprehensions and would’ve found it hard to play ahead of Patrick Bamford.

That said, Watkins is a player we’ve seen a lot of in the Championship, and while he would’ve done well at Elland Road, we signed Raphinha, who in our opinion, is enjoying a better season than the England international.

In other Leeds United news, Report: Leeds handed major blow in quest to sign ‘Fantastic’ left-back