Jamie Carragher insists Ollie Watkins is England's Harry Kane back up

Jamie Carragher insists Ollie Watkins is England’s Harry Kane back up, as in-form Aston Villa striker reveals his target for the Euros and opens up on relationship with former boss and ‘dad’ Dean Smith

  • Ollie Watkins is in fine form, scoring five Premier League goals so far this season
  • Jamie Carragher thinks Watkins should be England’s choice as Kane’s backup
  •  Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast ‘It’s All Coming Up!’

Jamie Carragher has insisted in-form Aston Villa striker Ollie Wakins must be the deputy for England captain Harry Kane. 

Watkins’ excellent near post finish during Villa’s 4-1 win over West Ham takes his goal tally to five in the Premier League this season. 

His performances have been impressive, earning him an England call-up during the most recent International break. 

The striker bagged the only goal during England’s friendly with Australia, and former Liverpool defender Carragher has named him as the next in line should Harry Kane fall foul of injury. 

Watkins himself also opened up about his relationship with former manager Dean Smith, describing him as his ‘dad’. 

Ollie Watkins beautifully finished from a difficult angle to take his goal tally to five in the league

Watkins spoke with former manager Dean Smith after the game, showing Smith much love

Jamie Carragher spoke very highly of Watkins and tipped him to be a Harry Kane replacement 

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Speaking on Sky Sports Carragher insisted: ‘Even when he doesn’t score he can play a big role and you can see that. As the game has gone on he runs in behind. When he stand alongside him, I thought he was taller. He has that presence and the pace.

‘If Harry Kane is injured, he is England’s centre-forward’ 

‘Him and [Moussa] Diaby look like they’re trying to combine. The set up means he doesn’t need to come deep, you can see it all and it’s all about getting it central. He doesn’t need to go deep, he can create space between the lines.

The Villa striker also spoke on Sky Sports after the game, and highlighted his own ambition to keep improving as a player as well as his affection for former boss Smith.

Watkins joked: ‘I always text Dean and say that I owe it to him because I wouldn’t have been at Bretford and then Villa. 

‘I feel like Dean is my dad! I want over 20 goals and go to the Euros. That’s what I want to do and are my goals. It’s what im working towards but I know my club form has to be good. 

‘[The] Christmas period is tough, we have a lot of games in Europe and a few injuries but we have to keep ploughing away, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. 

On his former player Smith remarked: ‘He’s a great kid and well liked in the dressing room. He’s selfless and that’s what everyone likes about him.’  

Smith also spoke with current manager Unai Emery, who has transformed this Aston Villa side


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