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Ollie Watkins For England?

This Thursday, Gareth Southgate will announce his squad for England's upcoming UEFA EURO Qualfiers matches against Italy and Ukraine.


No Aston Villa players went to the World Cup with England, however there are definitely a few candidates this term, one of which being Ollie Watkins.

Watkins has scored six goals in his last seven games and has definitely been one of the most in form strikers in the Premier League recently.


Since the sale of Danny Ings, Watkins has really seemed to up his game in front of goal. With him being the only proven striker at the club, it's as if he feels that it is now his own responsibility to find the net for Villa, and that the responsibility is no longer split between him and Ings.

The question on every Villa fan's lips is whether Watkins will make the cut for Southgate's side this March.


It wouldn't be the first time. Watkins has been in previous squads under Gareth Southgate.


This time two years ago he received his first call up and scored his first goal in a 5-0 win at Wembley against San Marino.

He scored his second goal for England just over a year after his first as him and Tyrone Mings netted in the same game to help England beat Ivory Coast by three goals to nil.

Unfortunately for Watkins, his form towards the back end of last season and the start of this season has resulted in him not being in a squad since last March. However, his recent form and previous admiration from manager Gareth Southgate surely means he is in with a chance of being picked.


England captain Harry Kane is a guarantee in every single squad if he's available, however besides Kane, there aren't many strikers that have been considerably better than Ollie Watkins. Let's delve in to who could be picked ahead of him :


Ivan Toney - Brentford

Left out of the World Cup squad due to gambling allegations coming out weeks before the tournament's exposition, Ivan Toney has scored fifteen goals in twenty three league games for Brentford this season, however he has also since been proven guilty for the gambling allegations.

It will be interesting to see if Gareth Southgate will want Toney in the squad if he's in trouble off the pitch, despite his impressive form.


Callum Wilson - Newcastle United

Callum Wilson was in very good form for Newcastle leading up to the World Cup and managed to get himself into the squad that got knocked out to France in the quarter finals.

He has had a slight dip in form since the turn of the year, however Southgate still knows what he is capable of and he could definitely be a contender.


Marcus Rashford - Manchester United

Surely a cert for the squad, Marcus Rashford has been on fire for Manchester United. Fourteen goals in the Premier League, twenty five goals in all competitions, a recent Carabao Cup winner, he will definitely be in the squad, however it just comes down to whether Southgate wants to deploy him as a winger or a striker for England.

If Southgate wants to play him through the middle, it perhaps minimizes Watkins's hopes of getting into the squad. If Southgate plays him out wide, it leaves a space through the middle for Watkins to potentially take.


Tammy Abraham - Roma

A man very close to most Villa fan's hearts. Former Villa loanee Tammy Abraham was left out of Southgate's squad for the World Cup, and has only scored seven in all competitions this season for Italian side Roma.

However, we know Southgate has admired him previously, so he has to be brought up due to playing in the same position as Watkins.


For Watkins, it's ten goals and four assists in all competitions this season. Since the turn of the year he really has been something else and despite still missing the occasional big chance, he has become much more clinical than he was this time six months ago.

It will be very interesting to see whether Southgate chooses him this Thursday. You can't say he hasn't deserved it.


BY HARRY BATTERS - @HarryBatters

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