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Ollie Watkins

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Ollie Watkins
Personal information
Full name Oliver George Arthur Watkins[1]
Date of birth (1995-12-30) 30 December 1995 (age 24)
Place of birth Torquay, England
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Playing position(s) Forward/Attacking Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Aston Villa
Number 11[2]
Youth career
2013–2014 Exeter City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014–2017 Exeter City 68 (21)
2014–2015Weston-super-Mare (loan) 24 (10)
2017–2020 Brentford 132 (45)
2020– Aston Villa 0 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:05, 29 July 2020 (UTC)

Oliver George Arthur Watkins (born 30 December 1995) is an English professional footballer who plays as a forward for Premier League club Aston Villa. He is a product of the Exeter City academy and made his breakthrough at the club before departing in 2017.

Early life and education

Watkins grew up in Newton Abbot supporting Torquay United as a child and attended South Dartmoor Community College.[3][4]

Career

Exeter City

Early years (2004–2015)

Watkins joined Exeter City's academy at U11 level, having previously failed a trial with the club at the age of 9 in 2003.[5] He rose through the youth ranks to sign a scholarship deal in 2012 and off the back of scoring 30 goals for the U18 team in its 2013–14 Football League Youth Alliance South West Conference-winning season,[6] he signed a two-year professional contract in April 2014.[5][7] Watkins won his maiden first team call up when he was named as a substitute for the final League Two match of the 2013–14 season versus Hartlepool United and he made his senior debut when he replaced Aaron Dawson after 77 minutes of the 2–0 victory.[8] Watkins was frequently named as a substitute by Paul Tisdale during the first three months of the 2014–15 season,[9] but despite scoring his first senior goal (a late consolation in a 3–1 Football League Trophy second round defeat to Coventry City on 7 October 2014), he made just three appearances before departing on loan to Weston-super-Mare for the remainder of the campaign in December 2014.[10][11]

Weston-super-Mare (2014–2015)

On 8 December 2014, Watkins and Exeter City teammate Matt Jay joined Conference South club Weston-super-Mare on one-month loan deals.[12] Through repeated extensions of the loan,[13] Watkins would remain with the Seagulls until the end of the 2014–15 season.[10] He featured regularly for the team, scoring 10 goals in 25 appearances before returning to St James Park at the end of the season.[14]

Breakthrough (2015–2017)

After failing to be named in a first team squad during the opening two months of the 2015–16 season,[15] Watkins broke onto the substitutes' bench in October 2015 and made his first appearance of the season late in the month.[16] He made his first start for Exeter City in a 2–1 Devon derby victory over Plymouth Argyle on 6 December and scored his first goal of the season with the Grecians' second in a 2–0 FA Cup second round victory over Port Vale in the following match.[15] By March 2016, Watkins had broken into the starting lineup.[15] He had a fantastic month in March, scoring four goals in six appearances to win the Football League Young Player of the Month and PFA Fans' Player of the Month awards.[17][18] His goalscoring run extended into mid-April and finished with eight goals in 10 appearances.[16] Two of the goals came in the return Devon derby with Plymouth Argyle, in which his late brace sealed a 2–1 comeback victory and the second goal was subsequently voted as the club's Goal of the Season.[19][20] Watkins finished the 2015–16 season with 10 goals in 22 appearances.[16]

Watkins' performances in the final two months of the 2015–16 season saw him enter 2016–17 as an established member of the first team squad.[21] He had an eventful season, making 52 appearances, scoring six goals and contributing 13 assists,[22] though the campaign ended on a sour note with the Grecians' 2–1 defeat to Blackpool in the 2017 League Two play-off Final at Wembley Stadium.[23] Watkins scored the first hattrick of his career in a 4–1 win over Newport County on 31 December 2016 and his two goals and five assists in January 2017 saw him win the EFL League Two Player of the Month award.[23][24] On 9 April he was award the EFL Young Player of the Year award for his performances during the season.[25] Watkins left Exeter City on 18 July 2017,[22] having made 78 appearances and scored 26 goals during three seasons as a professional at St James Park.[26]

Brentford

On 18 July 2017, Watkins joined Championship club Brentford on a four-year contract, with an option for a further year, for an undisclosed fee,[22] reported to be £1.8 million.[27] He scored his first competitive goal for the club in their 3–1 EFL Cup first round extra time victory over AFC Wimbledon on 8 August 2017.

On 9 August 2019 Watkins signed a new four-year contract with a one-year extension option.[28]

Watkins scored his first hat-trick for the club in their 3–1 Championship win against Barnsley in a 3–1 win on 29 September 2019.[29] Watkins made 50 appearances and scored 26 goals in all competitions during the 2019–20 season, which ended with defeat in the 2020 Championship play-off Final.[30]

Aston Villa

On 9 September 2020, Watkins joined Premier League team Aston Villa on a 5-year contract[31] for a club-record £28,000,000 fee, which could rise to £33,000,000.[32] In joining Aston Villa, Watkins was reunited with manager Dean Smith who had originally signed him for Brentford. On 15 September 2020, Watkins made his Aston Villa debut, scoring in a 3-1 away win in the EFL Cup against Burton Albion.[33]

Style of play

Watkins has described himself as "a number 10" and named Thierry Henry as his sporting idol,[34] stating in 2017 that "I try to base my game on his, by driving at defenders and looking to make something happen when I get the ball".[35] He is also adept as a winger. He was adapted into a more traditional centre forward during the 2019–20 season at Brentford.[36]

Career statistics

As of match played 15 September 2020[14]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup EFL Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Exeter City 2013–14[8] League Two 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2014–15[11] League Two 2 0 0 0 0 0 1[a] 1 3 1
2015–16[16] League Two 20 8 2 1 0 0 0 0 22 9
2016–17[23] League Two 45 13 0 0 2 0 5[b] 3 52 16
Total 68 21 2 1 2 0 6 4 78 26
Weston-super-Mare (loan) 2014–15[14] Conference South 24 10 0 0 1[c] 0 25 10
Brentford 2017–18[37] Championship 45 10 1 0 2 1 48 11
2018–19[38] Championship 41 10 3 2 1 0 45 12
2019–20[39] Championship 46 25 0 0 1 0 3[d] 1 50 26
Total 132 45 4 2 4 1 3 1 143 49
Aston Villa 2020–21 Premier League 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1
Total 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1
Career total 227 78 6 3 7 2 7 3 247 86
  1. ^ Appearance in Football League Trophy
  2. ^ Appearances in EFL Trophy and League Two play-offs
  3. ^ Appearance in FA Trophy
  4. ^ Appearances in Championship play-offs

Honours

References

  1. ^ "Professional retain lists & free transfers 2012/13" (PDF). The Football League. May 2013. p. 55. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Cash and Watkins squad numbers confirmed". Aston Villa Official Site. 11 September 2020. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  3. ^ "First Team – Forward – Ollie Watkins". www.exetercityfc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  4. ^ "The Week @ South Dartmoor – ISSUE NUMBER 17: 13 NOVEMBER 2015" (PDF). 13 November 2015. p. 1. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  5. ^ a b Baker, Derek. "Feature article: Ollie Watkins – one of our own". Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Watkins: "I want to prove what I can do"". Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Exeter City hand professional deals to three young starlets". Western Morning News. 14 April 2014. Archived from the original on 12 May 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  8. ^ a b "Games played by Ollie Watkins in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Ollie Watkins Player Profile – ESPN FC". www.espnfc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Brentford FC Get to know Ollie Watkins". Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Games played by Ollie Watkins in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  12. ^ "Exeter City: Ollie Watkins and Matt Jay loaned to Weston-super-Mare". BBC Sport. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  13. ^ "Watkins extends loan with Weston-super-Mare". Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  14. ^ a b c Ollie Watkins at Soccerway. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  15. ^ a b c "Ollie Watkins Player Profile – ESPN FC". www.espnfc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  16. ^ a b c d "Games played by Ollie Watkins in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  17. ^ a b "EFL Official Website Ollie Watkins named Football League Young Player of the Month". Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  18. ^ a b "Ollie Watkins Wins PFA Player Of The Month For March". Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  19. ^ "Match Report: Exeter City 2–1 Plymouth Argyle". Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  20. ^ "End-of-season Ball: All The Winners". Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  21. ^ "Ollie Watkins Player Profile – ESPN FC". www.espnfc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  22. ^ a b c "Brentford sign Ollie Watkins". Brentford F.C. 18 July 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  23. ^ a b c "Games played by Ollie Watkins in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
  24. ^ a b "Ollie Watkins wins player of the month award for January". Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  25. ^ a b "Ollie Watkins named EFL Young Player of the Year". Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  26. ^ "Ollie Watkins | Football Stats | Exeter City | Age 21 | Soccer Base". www.soccerbase.com. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  27. ^ "Brentford agree £1.8m deal to sign Exeter striker Ollie Watkins". Sky Sports. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  28. ^ "Ollie Watkins signs long-term contract extension". Brentford F.C. 9 August 2019. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  29. ^ "Twitter". mobile.twitter.com. Retrieved 29 September 2019.
  30. ^ "Brentford 1 Fulham 2". www.brentfordfc.com. Retrieved 9 August 2020.
  31. ^ "Villa announce Watkins signing ✍️". Aston Villa Official Site. 9 September 2020. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  32. ^ Dick, Brian (9 September 2020). "CONFIRMED: Aston Villa see off Tottenham challenge as £28m star completes transfer". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  33. ^ Maher, Matt (15 September 2020). "Carabao Cup: Burton 1 Aston Villa 3 - Report". Express & Star. Retrieved 15 September 2020.
  34. ^ "Exeter City's Ollie Watkins: Scoring goals for the club that once turned him away". BBC Sport. 19 April 2016.
  35. ^ "Q&A: Ollie Watkins – BEHIND THE SEAMS". BEHIND THE SEAMS. 9 June 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  36. ^ Dean, Sam (24 January 2020). "Inside Brentford: The hotbed of talent development with a valid claim for best-run club in the country". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 27 January 2020.
  37. ^ "Games played by Ollie Watkins in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  38. ^ "Games played by Ollie Watkins in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  39. ^ "Games played by Ollie Watkins in 2019/2020". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
  40. ^ "EFL Awards: Brentford striker Ollie Watkins wins Championship Player of the Season". BBC Sport. 27 August 2020. Retrieved 27 August 2020.

External links