Brentford have signed EFL Young Player of the Year Ollie Watkins from Exeter City for an undisclosed fee. The 21-year-old attacker completed a medical in West London earlier today, Tuesday 18 July, and finalised his move this afternoon. He signed a four-year contract with an option for a further year. Ollie will train with The Bees later this week and will be available for the pre-season friendly against Southampton on Saturday.
Ollie was born in Devon and has spent his entire career so far with Exeter. He joined the League Two side’s academy before he was a teenager and progressed through the ranks at the Devon club. He turned professional in 2014 and made his EFL debut a few weeks later, when he was just 18. Ollie had a loan spell at Weston-super-Mare in the second half of the 2014/15 campaign, after scoring his first professional goal in an EFL Trophy tie earlier that season.
He made his breakthrough at Exeter in the following year, playing 22 games in all competitions and scoring nine goals. He started every match from the beginning of March that season, scoring nine goals in 12 games and was named EFL Young Player of the Month for March 2016. Last season Ollie helped Exeter push for promotion, scoring 16 goals in 52 games in all competitions as his side lost in the League Two Play-Off Final. He also contributed 13 assists. His form earned him the League Two Player of the Month prize for January and the EFL Young Player of the Year award.
Dean Smith, Brentford FC Head Coach, said: “We believe that Ollie is a player with an awful lot of potential. He showed last season what great talent he has and he has developed into a goal scorer. There is more development to come and we believe we can bring that out of him. I am very pleased that he is now playing for Brentford.”
Phil Giles, Brentford FC Co-Director of Football, added: "We first made an offer for Ollie 12 months ago, and again last January, so I am glad that we were finally able to sign him this time around. Exeter had a strong season last year and in part that was down to their decision to keep Ollie until now. I would like to thank Steve Perryman and Exeter for the way they have conducted the transfer and wish them well for next season."