By Alan Hutton

6th Aug, 2020 | 6:00pm

Exclusive: Smith working on £50m raid Hutton claims will fire Villa to new heights

Alan Hutton claims that Brentford striker Ollie Watkins will fire Aston Villa to new heights if he was to join the club this summer.

The former Villa and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has been left raving over the 24-year-old hitman and insists he would make a significant difference to Dean Smith’s squad.

As revealed by Football InsiderVilla are plotting a £50million double raid to sign both Watkins and Brentford teammate Said Benrahma after the Bees’ play-off heartbreak on Tuesday.

The former Exeter City striker was instrumental in Brentford’s push for promotion last season with 26 league goals under his belt.

Hutton believes that Watkins has flourished since moving into a central role and insists that while he would be an expensive signing, he could make a massive difference at Villa Park.

Hutton told Football Insider: “He’s another player that I think is brilliant, he’s taken that number nine role on.

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“He’s moved from a wide player to an actual number nine and I think that suits him better his pace, he’s very tactical, he can score goals, I think he’s brilliant at what he does.

“I think there’s going to be a number of teams looking at him if I’m honest, I don’t think it’s going to be an easy pick-up, there’s going to be a lot of money involved.

” I think if they can get hold of him it’ll really help them really boost their chances, at not just staying in the league but progressing and becoming a better team, so I think it would be a great addition.”

Villa struggled for goals in the second half of the Premier League campaign after summer signing Wesley Moraes suffered a season-ending injury on New Year’s Day.

Dean Smith signed Mbwana Samatta from Genk in January to bolster his attacking options but he managed to net just once in 11 starts.

In other Aston Villa news, one senior star has been tipped to quit the club after Everton make new contact.