By Alex Stevens

Exeter striker Ollie Watkins has been warned to avoid reported Leeds interest and move to a more stable club by the team’s local newspaper.

The Express & Echo have delivered a critical assessment of the Yorkshire giants and their fanbase in an editorial responding to claims they are planning a summer swoop for the highly rated 21-year-old.

Reports emerged at the weekend that Leeds are keeping close tabs on Watkins as they eye a summer raid on the League Two club for their prize asset.

The Championship promotion hopefuls showed last summer they are not afraid of dipping into League Two for emerging stars when they prised Kemar Roofe from Oxford.

But the Express & Echo does not believe Elland Road would be a smart move for Watkins and have highlighted the difficulties of his former teammate Matt Grimes as perfect proof.

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Grimes joined Leeds on a season-long loan from Monk’s former club Swansea last summer as part of an extensive recruitment drive but has had only a bit-part role, with just 152 minutes of league action.

“Watkins should take one look at how his former City youth teammate Matt Grimes has fared on loan at Elland Road to realise that the Yorkshire side are not the sort of club to blood young talent in comparison to some of the other clubs he has been linked to,” the editorial read.

“The supremely talented Grimes has been chewed up and spat out by Leeds fans, many of whom feel he is not good enough for the club – all well and good for them, but one wonders what sort of effect it has had on the 21-year-old’s confidence.

“Young players coming up from lower leagues need to be given the chance to adapt and grow but I do not see Leeds fans giving players the opportunity to do that – they are not a club that have been renowned for bringing through young talent in recent seasons.”

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