Aston Villa star Ollie Watkins makes it clear why David Moyes wants him at West Ham with an im-press-ive display.
West Ham manager Moyes has identified Aston Villa striker Watkins as his number one summer transfer target.
That’s according to a report from The Guardian who claim the 26-year-old Villa hitman is a prime target for the Hammers in the summer transfer window.
Signing at least one new centre-forward will be the absolute top priority for West Ham this summer.
And The Guardian claims Steven Gerrard wants £50m from West Ham for Watkins to get a deal done.
That would make the former Brentford man West Ham’s new record signing – surpassing the £45m paid for Sebastien Haller.
But if Haller was completely unsuited to the way Moyes wanted to play at West Ham, then Watkins is the antithesis.
Aston Villa star Ollie Watkins makes it clear why David Moyes wants him at West Ham with im-press-ive display
And Aston Villa star Watkins made it clear why Moyes wants him at West Ham with a hugely im-press-ive display against Liverpool the other night.
Villa may have lost the game 2-1, but Watkins showed just why he would be perfect for the Hammers.
The athletic and willing runner was a complete and utter pest for the Liverpool defence all night long.
Watkins hassled, harried and pressed the Liverpool defence tirelessly, never giving Jurgen Klopp’s side a moment’s peace.
It is not often Virgil van Dijk looks flustered. But reported West Ham target Watkins forced the big Dutchman to get a rare sweat on.
Watkins did the work of three players as he closed down, ran channels and put a tremendously unselfish shift in for the team.
One minute he was closing down Fabinho, then Joel Matip, then van Dijk, then goalkeeper Allison. Watkins’s workrate and pressing had Sky Sports co-commentator Jamie Carragher purring.
It was the kind of performance Michail Antonio had become renowned for before his form dropped off a cliff this year.
The big difference is that Villa star Watkins has explosive pace and acceleration while the new super bulked up version of Antonio takes a few strides to get up to his top speed.
The way Watkins played against Liverpool showed exactly why Moyes wants the striker at West Ham. It was a masterclass in pressing from the front, something West Ham have often missed in the second half of this season.
Strong work ethic is the foundation on which the Scot’s new West Ham is built.
Watkins would lead that from the front and would be a huge hit with West Ham fans.
Playing in a better side, which West Ham are by Villa boss Gerrard’s own admission, Watkins would also likely score plenty more goals than he has in the Midlands.
Under Moyes it seems West Ham have finally cottoned on to identifying the right players and characters to fit an ethos and a system.
For too long the Hammers have chased star names, gone for the cheap option or signed players well past their best.
Watkins would be striker number 50 of the David Sullivan and David Gold era. And he is the one that would make the most perfect sense yet for West Ham.