Debunking the Continuous Ollie Watkins Transfer Links
Okay. Enough is enough. It’s time to fire up Media Muppets again.
Media Muppets was always one of the favourite My Old Man Said website segments, but a couple of years ago, it soon became apparent that EVERY day was a low rent clickbait day. In fact, there was more clickbait rubbish than legitimate news. It became something MOMS simply wanted to avoid for its own sanity.
Let’s first define ‘clickbait rubbish’ for the sake of Media Muppets. Clickbait doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an exaggerated title to get you to click. The main concern is the worth of the article/post it leads to.
If you’ve got a suggestive headline that leads to a great, informative, opinionated or entertaining read, then the headline is simply leading the horse to the water. But if it’s leading the reader to worthless trashy nonsense, then the reader is having to drink from a toxic cesspool simply to boost the publication’s ad revenue.
Nowadays you can’t look at Twitter without some dumb Villa Twitter aggregate account chasing followers by spreading any old clickbait rumour, without even considering its worth (maybe try and get followers by actually offering some worth to the world?).
Thinking things through and applying logic and common sense seems to be a lost form nowadays, so let Media Muppets fill in the gap again.
Let us begin with continuous mentions of Ollie Watkins being linked to other clubs.
Now we’ve been there before with Watkins transfer links to Spurs at the back end of last year, and it was explained in Media Muppets that those were probably recycled from when Spurs were originally in the hunt at the time Villa bought him. Watkins, himself, said he preferred to join Villa over Spurs, as it looked like he would have been spending time on the bench there for the obvious reason of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min et al.
2022 Ollie Watkins Transfer Links
More recently Watkins has been linked to both West Ham United and Newcastle United.
After the Daily Mail first pushed the story, the usual suspects were all over it, but even the Guardian newspaper were pushing the narrative without really considering Villa’s point of view.
West Ham target summer move for Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins
‘West Ham have explored the possibility of signing the England international and could decide to test Villa’s resolve by bidding for the 26-year-old, who has scored 11 goals for club and country this season.
There has been talk that Steven Gerrard could be prepared to sell Watkins, although it is likely Villa would demand at least £50m. Watkins has made huge strides since moving to Villa Park and has a good chance of being included in England’s squad for the World Cup this year.‘
We all know Villa’s immediate aim is to be the “best of the rest”, to quote Villa CEO Christian Purslow. Meaning to finish 7th or 8th, before looking at the strategy needed to break the top six cartel. That should also be common sense to any outsider considering Villa’s spend in the last few seasons.
So, Mr Guardian Writer, what logic leads to Aston Villa accepting a bid from a direct rival for Watkins? Or, there actually being an acceptable bid, in the first place?
In Watkin’s first season at Villa, bar a few dubious VAR calls and hitting the woodwork several times, he could have been very close to being a 20-goal Premier League striker. Last season was a bit disjointed with an early injury, and personnel and managerial change, yet Watkins still got into double figures. You’d certainly back him to improve on his respective league tallies of 14 and 11 in the forthcoming season.
Considering Watkins also broke into the England setup at Villa and still has plenty of upside to come, the club certainly wouldn’t be interested in letting him go to strengthen a direct rival.
Also, you have Steven Gerrard actually publicly declaring his support of Watkins:
“To take this club where we need to take it we need goalscorers, we need top players and Ollie Watkins is a top player. I will fight as hard as I need to fight if it ever comes up. But it’s not going to because I know the owners and I know Christian Purslow (CEO) and Johan Lange (Director of Football) are on the same page. We want to build this around the likes of Ollie Watkins. We are delighted with him. He’s our leading scorer this year so for me it doesn’t make sense at all to even listen to speculation about Ollie Watkins.“
Now when Gerrard talks about “if it ever comes up”, he means if the likes of a Champions League club comes knocking.
Think Villa having to previously fight off advances for the likes of Gareth Barry, James Milner, Christian Benteke and Jack Grealish, when the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool, came knocking. Then you know it’s going to be a real fight to keep a player.
I don’t think Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris have injected millions of pounds into Villa to become West Ham’s feeder club.
After Watkins mix-bag last season, I don’t think you’ll see many clubs coming along and offering them £50m to prise him away, do you? Give some credit to West Ham, I doubt they’d consider such a move as good business either.
Also, at this moment in time, I doubt Watkins could consider a move to West Ham as a step up.
Perhaps more annoying is Newcastle United fan blogs thinking they can now cherry pick other team’s strikers, with one of their sites this week running an article under the headline ‘Ollie Watkins in 5 alternatives for Newcastle as interest in £60m ace cools’.
The sub-heading read: ‘Aston Villa could provide the answer with Gerrard ready to sell Watkins’.
This article was based on the Daily Mail running a similar story to the Guardian, where they stated ‘West Ham are eyeing a move for Ollie Watkins this summer… with Aston Villa open to selling as long as they make a profit’.
Now, like Spurs, Newcastle were in for Watkins when he was still at Brentford, but they ultimately concentrated their efforts on Callum Wilson at the time. You only have to go back to the week of that signing, two years ago, to hear the likes of ex-Newcastle United player Andy Cole declaring that Newcastle got the best deal getting in Wilson instead of the Villa-bound striker.
“I think with Wilson, £20million, I don’t think that’s anything you can grumble at because you look at Aston Villa and they’ve spent £28million on a kid who has never played in the Premier League, you don’t know what he’s going to give you,” said Cole.
“I think Steve Bruce has been very astute there,” he concluded.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like Wilson as a player and would have been fine with him coming to Villa along with Watkins. But what Cole neglected to consider here was both Wilson’s age (he’s four years older than Watkins) and his injury record.
Newcastle only got 44 league games out of Wilson in the past two seasons, although he did score 20 goals, while Watkins played 72 games (scoring 25 goals) in his two seasons at Villa.
While there’s no doubt Wilson has a better goal average, you’ve got to be on the pitch to play and score, and Watkins contributes a more all-round game as a single striker to Villa.
Anyway, Andy Cole is distracting us here, but the point is Newcastle fans are finally working out who was doing the better overall business there.
It’s too late for them though.
Ollie Watkins won’t be going to Newcastle United or West Ham United this summer, so until you qualify for the Champions’ League, so you might have something to offer him, to paraphrase Will Smith, keep my strikers name out of your f**king mouth!