Kevin Phillips has tipped Aston Villa to sign Ollie Watkins this summer after Daniel Sturridge revealed that he wants to return to the Premier League.
The former Claret and Blue, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, is adamant that Sturridge, 30, is not on Dean Smith’s shortlist but said that Watkins “fits the bill”.
Football Insider revealed earlier this month that Villa were plotting a £50million double swoop for Brentford’s dynamic duo Watkins and Said Benrahma.
Watkins scored an impressive 26 goals in 40 appearances last season but missed out on promotion through the play-offs.
Strurridge, who was linked with a move to Villa Park in January, has this week admitted that he wants to return to England after a spell in Turkey with Trabzonspor.
When asked by Football Insider if the former Liverpool forward would be a smart signing, Phillips said:
“Sturridge will not be on Villa’s list,” he told Football Insider.
“I am sure a lot of clubs are considering an approach but he has not played football since March. I doubt he has been training as well. It will take him a while to get back up to speed.
‘If I am Villa I am looking elsewhere. It is a position that they need to strengthen in and if I was Villa I would look to opt for a Ollie Watkins. He fits the bill.”
When speaking on his future, Sturridge told Sky Sports:
“We have options around the world but I’m an English player and I’ve always loved playing in the Premier League.
“I believe I’ve got a lot to give to the Premier League and I would say that’s my first choice. I do feel I have unfinished business so I would like to go back and play there.”
In other Aston Villa news, Hutton has shed some light as an international star quits Villa Park.