Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins could be surprise inclusion in Gareth Southgate’s expanded England squad

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When Ollie Watkins made the step up from Championship football with Brentford to the Premier League with Aston Villa, the question on everyone’s mind would’ve been whether his goalscoring talent could flourish in the English top-flight.

He wasn’t an unknown quantity, given that he was the joint top-scorer in the Championship in 2019/20 and named as the EFL Championship Player of the Year in 2020, but he’d never tested himself against the big boys.

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Since joining Villa in September 2020, Watkins has continued his rise, getting into double figures in terms of goals scored in his debut Premier League campaign.

He was at it again at the weekend, opening the scoring in a superb 2-1 away win at Everton, a game in which Dominic Calvert-Lewin equalised for the Toffees before ending on the losing side.

Ollie Watkins scores against Everton

Watching on from the Goodison Park stands was England manager, Gareth Southgate, and he would surely have been impressed by what he saw.

As the Daily Mail also note, given that the European Championship squads will now allow for up to 26 players to be picked, Southgate could do worse than add Watkins to his playing staff for the tournament.

More Stories Dominic Calvert-Lewin Gareth Southgate Ollie Watkins