Crystal Palace and Bournemouth are set to battle it out for the signature of Brentford winger Ollie Watkins with The Sun reporting that the Premier League duo is lining up £8m bid for the youngster. Crystal Palace are hoping the addition of Watkins will give them an advantage of holding onto their star man Wilfried Zaha.
Bournemouth head coach Eddie Howe has been impressed by the Brentford winger and is appreciative about the way Watkins contributes to the team. Howe has a task at hand in persuading the winger to choose the Cherries over a move to Selhurst Park.
Roy Hodgson, on the other hand, has seen Bakary Sako depart the club as a free agent after three years with Crystal Palace and will also lose out on Ruben Loftus Cheek’s services as his loan stint has expired and is in need of back up to fill the void left by both these players.
Crystal Palace secured a 11th place standing in the league last season and were eliminated in the third and fourth rounds of the FA Cup and EFL Cup respectively. Hodgson is aware that his team can better these statistics this time around and will have to put in a lot of hard work to get the team firing on all fronts again. The Palace fans deserve more out of their team and will be their 12th man on the pitch to give the Eagles that added boost to perform fearlessly.
Adding Watkins to the squad will increase positive competitiveness within the dressing room and the players will be motivated to put in more of an effort on the field if they are to keep a place for themselves in the starting 11. The versatile 22-year-old prefers to play as a left winger due to his ability to cut onto his right foot and shoot at goal. He can also fill in the roles of a centre-forward and as a right winger. 10 goals in 43 appearances for Brentford in the EFL Championship have put clubs on alert about the potential Watkins has in store to offer.
The youngster can provide direct competition to the likes of Andros Townsend, Jason Puncheon and Wilfried Zaha to contend for a place on the team. If Ollie keeps his head on his shoulders and continues to work hard, then the Premier League might see a new young star rise to prominence.