Having won the EFL Young Player of the Year award in 2016-17, it was always on the cards that Ollie Watkins would leave Exeter City to play at a higher level. And it’s Championship Brentford who have won the battle for his services.
The 21-year-old scored 16 times for the Grecians last term, with all of his strikes proving crucial. In fact, Exeter won 10 and drew one of the 11 games where Watkins found the net.
Two of those goals came against Carlisle United at St James’ Park as the Devon club edged out the Cumbrians 5-4 on aggregate, to ensure a spot in the League Two play-off final – a game they narrowly lost 2-1 to Blackpool.
But as well as his finishing, the Newton Abbot native proved an invaluable provider of goals – recording 13 assists over the season, including a hat-trick of them in January’s 3-0 rout of Colchester United.
However, the assist that might have proved most important in the long-term was the ball he played for Ryan Harley’s winning goal in the EFL Cup against…Brentford.
With Bees boss Dean Smith having built his reputation on developing young talent, this seems a very good move for both club and player – with the £1.7m outlay likely to prove a bargain.
Brentford are 7/1 to win promotion to the Premier League in the coming campaign. Having made Watkins the latest talented signing of the summer, that too could prove an appealing price.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing