Brentford’s £25m striker Ollie Watkins wants Dean Smith reunion at Aston Villa

Brentford striker Ollie Watkins is hopeful of eyeing up a reunion with Aston Villa boss Dean Smith after narrowly missing out on promotion to the Premier League.

Watkins had a stunning 2019/20 campaign, playing a leading role in Brentford’s Championship promotion push which ultimately came up short in the playoff final.

Brentford value the 24-year-old in excess of £25m, and have placed the same price tag on his team-mate Said Benrahma, who also excelled at Griffin Park last term.

Watkins found the net 26 times in 49 appearances for the Bees in 2019/20, with Fulham ace Aleksandar Mitrovic pipping the forward to the Championship Golden Boot.

And according to Sky Sports, Aston Villa are hopeful of bringing him to Villa Park where he would work under Smith once again.

Smith managed to West London outfit for three years between 2015 and 2018 where the duo build a strong relationship.

“All the praise to Ollie – he’s done amazing. He’s a pleasure to work with in terms of his determination, his desire," said Watkins' current boss Thomas Frank.

“The key thing for me to coach him this year was his position in the box for crosses and he has improved that massively, he has also improved his link-up play.”

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West Brom are also interested in the striker but former top flight Noel Whelan would love to see Championship winners Leeds snap up Watkins as they prepare for like back in the top flight after a 16-year absence.

“I really hope we can have him at Leeds United,“ Whelan told Football Insider.

“When you look at his age, his attributes and the season that he has had, anywhere in and around the £18m region would be a good price.

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“He is a really, really special player. He has been converted from a winger into a centre-forward and that is not easy to do.

"That is a difficult task because you need a different skill set but he can hold the ball, he has pace, strength and is clinical in front of goal.

“He knows where the back of the net is and those sort of players cost money.“

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