Tottenham Hotspur showed an interest in Aston Villa’s record-signing Ollie Watkins during his time at Exeter City, former Grecians director Steve Perryman told talkSPORT.
Jack Grealish is not the only Villa hero Spurs may regret missing out on.
Although Watkins has endured a difficult couple of weeks, with VAR, the post, the crossbar and countless shot-stoppers keeping him off the scoresheet, the £28 million striker has undoubtedly been one of the Premier League’s most impressive newcomers this season.
The former Brentford star has scored eight times already, including a famous hat-trick against Liverpool and a clinical brace in a 3-0 away victory over Arsenal.
And Perryman believes Aston Villa is a better fit for Watkins than a Spurs side boasting the remarkable attacking talents of Harry Kane and Heung Min Son.
“He’s doing terrifically well at Aston Villa, and Exeter have earned their money out of him with sell-on fees,” said Perryman, Spurs legend and director of football at St James’ Park until 2018.
“Tottenham did have two little bites at Ollie Watkins, I have to say.
“I know (Spurs scout) David Pleat was very, very strong that Tottenham should have a poke at him, but they ultimately didn’t.”
Perryman admits that he discussed Watkins’ future with Jose Mourinho in 2020, before Aston Villa eventually invested a record-breaking fee in one of England’s rising stars.
“I eventually spoke to Jose, for the first ever time in my life, when he phoned me and asked me my opinion on Ollie,” Perryman added.
“I told him what I knew and gave him my take on it all, but they went in a different direction, and I’m not saying they were wrong to have done that.
“But in a way it was a good move for Ollie because he’s playing every week at Aston Villa, and if he had signed for Tottenham I’m not sure that he would be playing every week.
“Tottenham would have been a tough call for him.”
Watkins has played 90 minutes in every one of Villa’s Premier League games this season. It is hard to imagine him doing the same at Spurs.