The following is the first part of a feature on Brentford striker Ollie Watkins. It was posted on efl.com last month looking at the man who joined The Bees three years ago and has 22 Sky Bet Championship goals to his credit this season. That puts him second on the list of goal scorers in the division this term.
Still just 24 years old, is Ollie Watkins the best striker in the Sky Bet Championship?
What makes Ollie Watkins so special? That’s easy, goals. It is his natural ability to find the net that has won him so many admirers in recent years.
Before the current postponement of English football, Ollie Watkins was busy lighting up the Sky Bet Championship. The sharp-shooter has fired Brentford into the Play-Off places this season, with 22 goals so far - a tally only bettered by Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic (23).
Pace, power and a natural finishing ability, Watkins is just as happy running at defenders as he is heading home a cross from close range. His ability to lead the line, score from range or find pockets of space in the penalty box to get his shot away creates uncertainty for opposition defences, and are just a few of reasons the striker has made the headlines this season.
A lower-division beginning with a Premier League dream, Watkins is one of many raised in the EFL tipped to reach the top. We take a look at the 24-year-old's flourishing career and his rise from League Two to the top of the Championship.
Before his move to West London in 2017, Watkins started his career with Exeter City and spent 13 years on the Devon side’s books .
Having previously failed a trial with the club at the age of nine in 2003, Torquay-born Watkins joined the Grecians’ academy at under-11 level, progressing through the ranks to sign a scholarship. Signs of his potential were evident as the teenager netted 30 goals for the under-18 team in its 2013/14 Youth Alliance South West Conference-winning season.
See the rest of the feature here
Sky Sports have also put together a video showing Ollie's top five goals this season.