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West Ham United are interested in Ollie Watkins and believe they have a strong chance of signing the Aston Villa forward, so what other transfers have occurred between the clubs?

Well, only three players have left Villa Park for east London during the Premier League-era so far. No player has yet also made the switch in the past decade, with the Hammers rarely shopping at their rival claret-and-blue side when striving to strengthen in the open market.

Aston Villa have been more frequent customers at West Ham with seven players moving to Birmingham from the capital club. The last deal for a player to head to the Second City took place five years ago, however, and the last permanent move also took place back in 2014.

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West Ham interested in Ollie Watkins amid uncertain Aston Villa future

West Ham may now make a rare trip to Aston Villa with David Moyes interested in signing Watkins this summer. That’s according to the Daily Mail, who report Steven Gerrard could part with the England international as the Villans boss is also planning to rebuild his ranks.

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The Hammers believe they will stand a strong chance of presenting the 26-year-old striker with an appealing potential landing spot. His first two seasons at Villa Park have impressed the Irons hierarchy, who admire his versatility to play alone in the centre or in a wider role.

Aston Villa are not opposed to selling Watkins given Gerrard’s intentions to refresh his side this off-season. But the Villa Park outfit will strive to make a substantial profit on the £33m they paid Brentford in 2020. They spent a club-record fee in a deal worth an initial £28m.

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Watkins returned 14 goals and five assists in 37 games during his maiden season with the Villans under Dean Smith. The seven-cap attacker also scored on his Three Lions debut in March 2021, and in his most recent international game at home to Ivory Coast this March.

He could yet eclipse his 2020/21 Premier League goal tally this term, having struck 10 over 32 games so far. Watkins has also offered one assist after creating against Smith’s Norwich City under Gerrard in December, following Aston Villa changing head coach in November.

So, with West Ham now interested in signing Watkins from Aston Villa, who are the other players to previously transfer from Villa Park to east London in the Premier League-era?

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James Collins last Aston Villa player to join West Ham amid Ollie Watkins interest

James Collins is the last player to join West Ham from Aston Villa after the centre-half took the path which Watkins could follow amid Moyes’ interest this summer. The Irons paid the Villans £2.5m in August 2012 to make a then-28-year-old Sam Allardyce’s seventh signing.

Paul Lambert opted to let Collins leave Villa Park as the defender had entered the last year of his contract. He spent three seasons in Birmingham for 108 appearances, having joined the Villans from the Hammers in September 2009 for £5m after four years in east London.

Collins first joined West Ham from Cardiff City in 2005 for £3.5m and enjoyed 214 outings across his two spells. He never featured for a single club more often than the Irons, where he stayed from 2012 to 2018 before a short spell at Ipswich Town in 2019 prior to retiring.

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John Carew left Villa Park for one season at Upton Park in 2011/12

John Carew started his career in his homeland of Norway with Valerenga in 1997, before spells with Rosenberg, in Spain with Valencia, Italy with Roma, Turkey with Besiktas and France with Lyon before his first step onto English soil with Aston Villa in January 2007.

The striker was a key presence at Villa Park during Martin O’Neill’s tenure and made more appearances at the club than any other with 131. His time in Birmingham effectively ended in January 2011 after joining Stoke City on loan before his contract expired that summer.

West Ham swooped and signed Carew once his Aston Villa terms lapsed, but only used his services for a season. The 91-cap international scored just two goals across his 19 Premier League outings – 21 in all competitions – before opting to retire in the summer of 2012.

Carew severely struggled to make much of an impact at Upton Park, having only started in seven top-flight games. His sole hits in east London also came during October after striking home away to Crystal Palace in a 2-2 draw and then in a 4-0 rout at home to Blackpool.

5 Dec 2001: David James of West Ham looks on during the FA Barclayard Premiership match between West Ham United and Aston Villa at Upton Park, London. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Craig Prentis/ALLSPORT

West Ham signed David James from Aston Villa in first Premier League switch

West Ham agreed their first Premier League-era transfer with Aston Villa on July 11, 2001, when signing David James for £3.5m. Yet he was not totally committed to a move, stating: “Aston Villa accepted an offer yesterday from West Ham. I didn’t want to leave Villa.

“But when the manager said he had accepted a bid, he gave me permission to talk [and] I gave them the courtesy of speaking to Glenn [Roeder] and what he had to offer, I couldn’t turn it down.” The move saw Aston Villa double their money after paying Liverpool £1.7m.

James spent just two seasons at Villa Park before enjoying three with West Ham up to him joining Manchester City in 2004 for £2m. During those years, the goalkeeper enjoyed 83 appearances with the Villans, 102 for the Hammers and 100 with the Citizens until 2006.

Manchester City would sell James on to Portsmouth for just £1.2m, where he would go on to win the 2008 FA Cup. It was one of two trophies the shot-stopper lifted along with the 1995 EFL Cup at Liverpool. But he was also England’s number one at the 2010 World Cup.

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Robert Snodgrass last West Ham player to join Aston Villa with 2017 loan

Robert Snodgrass was the last West Ham star to make the move opposite to what Watkins could amid Moyes’ interest, having joined Aston Villa on a season-long loan on August 25, 2017. The winger had only joined the Irons from Hull City on January 27, 2017, for £10.2m.

The Scot had scored seven times and assisted three goals over 20 Premier League games with the Tigers that season. But he would fail to score and assisted twice over 15 outings with the Hammers. Slaven Bilic also only started him eight times at the London Stadium.

Snodgrass would help Aston Villa reach the Championship play-off final during his time in Birmingham, losing to Fulham at Wembley. He struck eight goals and laid on a total of 13 assists in 43 games. The 28-cap ace’s West Ham return featured 11 goals and 15 assists.

West Ham would eventually let Snodgrass leave in January 2021 to join West Brom after 86 appearances across all competitions. He remained at the Hawthorns until January 2022 and joining Luton Town that February to aid the Hatters’ Championship play-off attempt.

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Aston Villa sealed last permanent deal from West Ham with Joe Cole in 2014

Aston Villa sealed what remains their most recent permanent transfer from West Ham by signing Joe Cole in June 2014. The Villans gained the midfielder in a free transfer after the Hammers elected to release the former England international at the end of his contract.

Before Cole, Collins was the last player to join Aston Villa from West Ham with his transfer in 2009. Marlon Harewood and Nigel Reo-Coker in ‘07, David Unsworth in 1998 and Frank McAvennie in ‘92 also switched east London for Birmingham in the Premier League-era.

Cole had only spent 18 months with the Hammers after leaving Liverpool in a free transfer on January 4, 2013. He likewise only spent 18 months at Villa Park before joining Coventry City in a permanent move, having spent two months with the Sky Blues in an initial loan.

Short stays continued for Cole in 2016 after leaving Coventry five months after his full-time arrival for Tampa Bay Rowdies. The American outfit would prove to be his last club up to retiring in 2018 as a 56-cap England international and three-time Premier League winner.

He also won three FA Cups with Chelsea to go with his three top-flight crowns and two EFL Cups at Stamford Bridge. Cole played more games for the Blues with 281 than at any club, above 182 for West Ham after starting his career in claret-and-blue up to leaving in 2003.

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