Ollie Watkins has already shown true Arsenal colours as dream transfer revealed amid family ties

Ollie Watkins celebrates his winning goal for England against the Netherlands at Euro 2024
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Arsenal could be set for a transfer tussle over England hero Ollie Watkins, following his standout performance at Euro 2024.

The Aston Villa frontman, who netted the decisive goal in England's 2-1 victory over the Netherlands on Wednesday (July 10), has long been an Arsenal fan, potentially setting the stage for a dramatic summer saga, reports the Mirror.

Watkins' stellar season, which saw him score 19 goals and provide 13 assists in the Premier League, helped Villa secure their first Champions League spot since the 1982/83 season. His performances also earned him a new five-year deal, and his value is now estimated at a staggering €100million (£85.7million).

Should any club decide to meet the hefty price tag, it seems Watkins - and his family - would prefer it to be Arsenal given his boyhood allegiance to the club. The striker, who grew up supporting the Gunners, scored against them last season in a 2-0 Villa win, much to the disappointment of his Arsenal-supporting family members.

"I'm not sure my grandad or uncle Baz are going to be too happy," Watkins told Sky Sports after a 3-0 win for Villa over Arsenal back in 2020, in which Watkins scored. "They are Arsenal fans and I am an Arsenal fan myself - but I'm buzzing. I am sure they will love it really. I am over the moon."

The striker has never hidden his affection for the Gunners, confessing in 2020 that his dream is to play for the club. Speaking to the Sports Gazette at the 2020 London Football Awards, the then-Brentford star revealed: "That's the dream, to play for Arsenal one day. But, you know, it's a long shot".

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Following in the footsteps of his idol Thierry Henry is certainly a goal for the Devon-born player who previously disclosed a secret conversation he had with Declan Rice last season amid rumours that Watkins was on Arsenal's radar.

Instead of discussing whether the striker would join Rice at Arsenal, the pair talked about Villa's chances of winning the Europa Conference League before their semi-final match against Olympiacos, which Villa lost 6-2 on aggregate.

Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring his team's 2nd goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on April 14, 2024 in London, England.
Rumours of a move to Arsenal continue to heat up for the Aston Villa striker -Credit:(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

Speaking to TNT Sports, he said: "I spoke to Dec (Declan Rice) at England. [He was] confident that we're going to win it. We're confident ourselves but you never know what's going to happen. You never know with these teams. Lille put us under a lot of pressure and it's going to be difficult but I think we have got the squad to do it."

Despite Aston Villa's firm stance on keeping their star man, it's unclear whether Arsenal would be tempted to make a significant offer for Watkins. The striker is undoubtedly at the peak of his career and on the verge of making a mark in English football history.