Robbie Fowler believes Liverpool should target a move for Ollie Watkins. The Reds legend sees the Aston Villa man as an ideal signing.
What should Liverpool do this summer? Well, Robbie Fowler doesn’t see the need for anything drastic.
He does, however, believe it’s time for “tweaks here and there”. “It’s fairly evident that the average age of the squad needs to come down a bit,” he told the Athletic.
As for who that could be, Fowler sees one obvious Premier League target – Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins.
“I like Ollie Watkins at Villa,” says Fowler. “When you start delving into how Liverpool play and how they press, his stats are perfect. He scores goals and his work rate is spot on. He looks like a Klopp player to me.
“Of course Villa wouldn’t want to lose him and he wouldn’t come cheap but he’s done very well since arriving from Brentford.
“A lot of big clubs didn’t take a chance on him but he’s made that leap from the Championship to the Premier League and has proved he belongs there.”
Ollie Watkins to Liverpool?
There’s little doubt that Watkins would be an impressive signing. His first Premier League season was one to remember.
He bagged 14 goals, picking up a further five assists in a decent Villa team. And as Fowler, his stats line up well with a Liverpool-style forward.
Per FBref, Watkins is 93rd percentile as a forward for pressing in the final third. He’s 72nd for successful presses, too – both excellent numbers.
Then there are things like being 89th percentile for carrying the ball into the penalty area and 84th for completing passes under pressure. They’re all things Liverpool want from their forwards.
Watkins can press wonderfully, attack defences with the ball and find teammates under defensive pressure. Who wouldn’t want all of that?
But then comes the real problem here. Villa paid £28m for Watkins a year ago and that was before he had proven Premier League quality. They’ll want considerably more than that now.
So the real question here is whether Liverpool can find someone like Watkins for a significantly lower fee. That player certainly wouldn’t have the same proven standard but the same characteristics? That’s very possible.
We imagine Liverpool are looking for such a player, though there really aren’t any strong reports telling us who it could be. But perhaps that’s a sign they have something in mind.