Ollie Watkins and Leeds United have a history.
Back in 2017, when the winger was emerging as one of the brightest young talents in the Football League thanks to a stunning breakthrough season at Exeter City, the Sun (21 May 2017, page 61) claimed that he had been lined up for a summer move to Elland Road.
But Brentford beat them to the punch. It took just £1.8 million to snap up the reigning EFL Young Player of the Year, as reported by Sky Sports. And Watkins, who is valued at £20 million these days, appears to have made it his personal mission ever since to show Leeds what they’re missing.
He tore Thomas Christiansen’s misfit incarnation apart in a 3-1 win almost two years ago and the penalty he won during last October’s feisty 1-1 draw at Elland Road is still fresh in the memory too. Did Watkins dive or did he merely accentuate the contact? It's a debate that rages on to this day.
Either way, his rather exaggerated tumble had Leeds fans fuming, Gianni Alioski picking scraps with the Brentford bench and Pontus Jansson aiming expletives down a Sky Sports lens.
Watkins is a teammate of Jansson’s these days and, while the Swedish centre-back has dominated the pre-match headlines ahead of what promises to be an emotional return to West Yorkshire on Wednesday night, Leeds’ one-that-got-away will feel that he has a point to prove too.
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