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Ollie Watkins reveals secret meeting with Arsenal star amid transfer rumours

Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins has revealed that he’s had a secret chat with one Arsenal star despite continuing interest from the Gunners

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Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins has shed light on a clandestine conversation with fellow England international Declan Rice regarding a move to Arsenal in the summer. 

The revelation comes as Arsenal seek reinforcements upfront, with Watkins emerging as a prime target following his stellar performances for Aston Villa this season, notching up an impressive 19 goals and 12 assists in 34 Premier League appearances.

The speculation surrounding Watkins intensified when former Arsenal player Theo Walcott urged his old club to secure the services of the 28-year-old striker in the upcoming transfer window, drawing parallels between Watkins and Arsenal legend Thierry Henry.

READ MORE: Club fears star striker has already made up his mind to join Arsenal

This sentiment was echoed by former Gunners defender Mikael Silvestre, who favoured Watkins over Brentford’s Ivan Toney, Arsenal’s primary target in January.

In an unexpected turn of events, Watkins disclosed details of a recent conversation he had with former West Ham midfielder Declan Rice. However, contrary to expectations, the discussion did not revolve around a potential move to Arsenal but rather centered on Villa’s aspirations in the Europa Conference League, a competition Rice triumphed in with West Ham last season.

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Speaking ahead of Villa’s Europa Conference League semi-final showdown against Olympiacos, Watkins TNT Sports, “I spoke to Dec (Declan Rice) at England. [He was] confident that we’re going to win it. We’re confident ourselves but you never know what’s going to happen.”

While Watkins refrained from divulging specifics about his future, he expressed admiration for Arsenal icon Thierry Henry, citing him as his childhood idol. 

Reflecting on Henry’s impact on his own playing style, Watkins reminisced, “My idol was Thierry Henry… I personally think he is the best player to play in the Premier League. He could do it all and he was untouchable, really.”

With Watkins’ future at Aston Villa uncertain amid growing interest from Arsenal, his revelations offer a glimpse into the player’s mindset and aspirations, both on and off the pitch.

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