Alex McLeish has claimed Dean Smith would have been adamant Aston Villa would not miss out on Ollie Watkins and hailed the striker as a “sensation”.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Villa manager is in no doubt that manager Smith was the architect of the club-record signing.
Villa confirmed the capture of the 24-year-old on Wednesday of last in a deal costing an initial £28million that could rise to £33m including add-ons.
The striker was a standout in the Championship last season with 25 goals during the regular campaign and another strike in Brentford’s ill-fated play-off campaign.
McLeish believes that Watkins has the pedigree to take his scoring form in the English second tier into the top division.
He told Football Insider: “I wondered how long it would take for Dean to go back to his old club and pick up some of the players.