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Smith believes Ollie Watkins’ ‘mindset’ is what got him into England

Fri 19 March 2021 | 12:41

The Villa boss talked about the Englishman’s wish to represent his country before joining their squad admitting that Watkins had always had his eyes on the international call-up.


Ollie Watkins



call-up for the World Cup qualifiers, Dean Smith revealed that the 25-year-old had always dreamt of representing his country before joining

Aston Villa


The Englishman, who left


for an amount of £28million last summer, currently has 12 goals across his 30 appearances with Smith’s squad.

Talking about his conversation with Watkins before joining Villa, Smith said:

“One of the questions when I was talking him into coming to Aston Villa was he asked me how I could get him into the England squad. He has got himself into the England squad with his performances.”

“It’s just sign of his mindset, the way he works and the way he thinks. He is always looking to progress and I believe we are a progressive club and we sold that to him when he was deciding to come.”

“He has always wanted to keep getting better and England was in his mind, and he has earned that right by putting the performances in.”

“I never questioned whether he could handle the jump. He had outgrown the Championship and was ready for the move to the Premier League.”

“Last year he was the top scorer in the Championship and we believed he could make that step up.”

“He’s one of the most hard-working individuals I’ve worked with. The biggest thing has always been his attitude and selfless nature to the team.”

So far Watkins has scored 25% of Aston Villa’s goals in the current

Premier League


Smith later talked about

Jack Grealish


Kortney Hause

’s injuries ahead of their


clash on Sunday, adding:

“There’s a chance (Grealish will be fit), I’m not sure. He has not trained with us fully yet but he is pain free and he’s running. If he doesn’t make this weekend I can certainly say 99 per cent he he will be ready for Fulham after the international break.”

“I am hopeful for this weekend but ultimately I have to make sure he is OK on Sunday morning.”

source: SportMob