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    Lange masterclass: AVFC can get 26-goal ace who Dean Smith hailed a “hell of a player” – opinion

    According to Sky Sports, Brentford forward Ollie Watkins is wanted by Aston Villa this summer.

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    What’s the word?

    After suffering a defeat to Fulham in the Championship’s play-off final, Brentford’s star duo of Said Benrahma and Watkins are likely to be hot property in the summer transfer window.

    And Sky Sports claim that whilst the Bees value each player in excess of £25m, there is significant interest from clubs in the Premier League for the pair.

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    The report claims that Benrahma is “high on the lists of a string of Premier League clubs”, including Villa, with Watkins also being wanted by Dean Smith’s side.

    Masterclass from Johan Lange

    Smith of course signed Watkins when he was Brentford boss, and watched him develop into a superb forward. Speaking back in 2017, the current Villa boss said: “You saw Ollie Watkins, who can play in a number of positions, and he looks a hell of a player. We saw what he can do.”

    And then whilst on punditry duty for the play-off final, Smith added: “He’s got a great attitude and he doesn’t stop working. He’s a joy to work with.  I played him a few times at striker. I always said to him he’d be a striker, he likes playing off the left and we felt that was the best area for him to go and get goals – but we played him at centre-forward at Bristol City away and he ran them ragged. Maupay came on and scored the winner and Ollie was disappointed that he didn’t score. That’s the sign for me of a top striker, he’ll do well.”

    Should Villa spend more than £25m on Ollie Watkins?

    Yes

    No

    No

    Whilst Brentford may have fallen short at the final hurdle, that doesn’t distract from the fact Watkins had an exceptional season on a personal level. He fired in 26 goals across all competitions, and newly-appointed sporting director, Johan Lange, has the perfect chance to get himself in both Villa and Smith’s good books by luring him to Villa Park this summer.

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