No call-up for Ollie Watkins can be a blessing in disguise

John Reid November 10, 2020
No call-up for Ollie Watkins can be a blessing in disguise
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

When you look at the England squad that has been called up for the three matches they have during the international break, it is a bit of a surprise that Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins hasn’t made the squad.

Watkins has been in excellent form for Villa since joining them from Brentford for a fee of £28m.

He has already proved his credentials in the Premier League by scoring six goals in seven games. Including most recently a double against Arsenal.

Hasn’t been intimidated by Premier League

He also scored a hat-tick against Premier League champions Liverpool. That showed that he wasn’t going to be intimidated by taking the step-up from the Championship to the Premier League. He has been fearless.

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

That sort of form must have Watkins very close to an international call-up. However, it could be a blessing in disguise for Villa that Watkins won’t feature in the last internationals of 2020.

One reason for that is that Watkins doesn’t need to play extra football during such a busy time of the season. He can concentrate on training with Villa, rather than going on international duty. That means he can work to improve his game even more with Dean Smith.

Can get a well-deserved break

Normally that might not be such a big deal. However, with the constant football being played this season the more rest that players are able to get the better.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Another reason that Watkins being selected for international duty could benefit Villa is that it keeps him under the radar, so to speak.

Okay, Watkins could be a target for some of the bigger Premier League eventually due to his excellent start to the season. However, he is not yet widely known. That would have changed if he had been called-up by Gareth Southgate.

There is also the risk of injury to take into account. After such a great start to the season, it would be a real blow to the player if he had been injured playing for England.

You would imagine that Watkins will want to play for his country one day. However, for the moment it could be a good thing if he doesn’t make his international debut just yet.

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John Reid is an experienced journalist, specialising in Scottish football for a number of years.