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Will Ollie Watkins’ Goalscoring Form Earn Him a Euro 2024 Call Up?

Pundits spend hours pouring over every detail of a soccer match, and yet there’s one universal truth that defies any form of analysis: goals win games.

Having a player, or number of players, in your ranks that have the ability to put the ball in the net is the best way to guarantee success in the beautiful game, so signing these in the transfer market is imperative for clubs with big ambitions.

At international level, the coach of a country can only work with the nationals at his or her disposal, but for Gareth Southgate there’s an embarrassment of riches to call upon ahead of England’s bid for glory at Euro 2024.

Will he find a space in his squad for one of the most prolific English goalscorers of 2023/24?

Villain on the Hunt

The Premiership top goalscorer odds are an inter-continental affair, with some of the finest attacking players in world soccer present and correct.

In amongst them is Ollie Watkins, the Aston Villa striker who can still be backed at odds of +650 to finish as the EPL’s top goalscorer with a handful of games to be played.

At the time of writing, the 28-year-old has notched 19 goals in the Premier League this term, so he’s on course to join the ranks of English forwards that have scored 20 or more top-flight goals in a single campaign.

It’s a fine effort, given that Villa have fallen away somewhat in the second half of the season. They were flying along prior to the Christmas and new year period, before a series of below-par performances threatened their chances of qualifying for the Champions League.

But the Villains have rallied in April, beating the likes of Arsenal and Bournemouth, scoring four goals in the calendar month with games to play.

Harry Kane is England’s premier frontman as far as traditional options at striker are concerned, but Watkins is very much knocking on the door of Southgate’s starting eleven for Euro 2024.

Ripe Cherry

Another English striker to enjoy a strong season is Dominic Solanke.

The 26-year-old has plundered 18 goals at the time of writing, and perhaps his feat is just as impressive as Watkins’ when you consider that Solanke plays for a bottom-half side in Bournemouth.

The Cherries have exceeded expectations this term, largely thanks to the exploits in front of goal of Solanke, so he too may be on Southgate’s radar.

Squawka on Twitter: “Dominic Solanke has now scored more Premier League goals in 2023/24 than any other Bournemouth player has ever managed in a single campaign.17 and counting. 🍒 / Twitter”

Dominic Solanke has now scored more Premier League goals in 2023/24 than any other Bournemouth player has ever managed in a single campaign.17 and counting. 🍒

He’s more in the Kane variety of leading the line – a traditional number nine, whereas Watkins is more of an all-rounder, as his tally of 12 assists attests… more than anybody else in the Premier League.

The sense is that Watkins will link up better with the creative players behind him than Solanke, which is perhaps why he is such a dark horse to start England’s first Euro 2024 game against Serbia on June 16.

It’s highly doubtful that Southgate will take Watkins, Solanke, and Kane in his squad, and with the Bayern Munich frontman almost a given as a selection, it leaves one spot open to the other top English strikers.

Still, as far as Southgate is concerned, it’s a nice problem to have…

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Written by Marcus Richards

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