Arsenal have stuttered in recent weeks, losing to both Everton and Manchester City in the chase for the Premier League title, but they still remain two points ahead of City with a game in hand.
The chance of a first league title since 2003/04 will spur Mikel Arteta on and with the added bonus of a return to the Champions League after six years away, the Spaniard is still looking to strengthen the team.
Arsenal transfer news – Ollie Watkins
Recent reports have seen the club linked with Chelsea winger Raheem Sterling.
However, it is a potential move for Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins which makes the most sense considering the lack of forward options Arteta has at his disposal, and his performance against the Gunners a few weeks ago may have stuck in the 40-year-old’s mind.
Could Watkins join Arsenal in the summer?
In Arsenal’s recent 4-2 victory over Villa, which featured a late comeback from the Gunners, Watkins bullied William Saliba throughout the encounter.
The £75k-per-week “absolute handful” – as dubbed by fantasy football writer Josh Norris – not only scored, but he won three of his five duels, made two tackles, and was just a general nuisance to the backline, making it a tough afternoon for Saliba, who struggled with the threat Watkins posed.
He may not be the most glamourous signing Arteta ever makes if he lures him to the club, however, he could prove to be very useful and would certainly form a solid partnership with Bukayo Saka.
Saka has been excellent on the right wing for Arsenal this season, registering 18 goal contributions – ten goals and eight assists – while also delivering 1.1 crosses and making 2.2 key passes per game this season, which would give Watkins plenty of chances to find the back of the net.
Indeed, the Villa striker has scored eight Premier League goals so far this term, with two of those headed efforts, and the Englishman would certainly take advantage of Saka delivering crosses into the box for him to pounce on.
The partnership could work well for Arsenal, and even though Watkins wouldn’t necessarily be Arteta’s first choice when Gabriel Jesus is fully fit, the 28-year-old could offer a different dynamic ahead of next season, and this could be crucial, with the manager looking at making his team less one dimensional and offering plenty of variance in their attack.