Liverpool interested in Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins

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Liverpool have been credited with an interest in signing Aston Villa forward Ollie Watkins ahead of the summer transfer window, as per Football Insider.

The Reds have produced a poor defence of their Premier League title this term, and they are currently outside of the Champions League spots in sixth.

Injuries to key defenders have hampered their progress, but they have also misfired in front of goal, having squandered numerous scoring opportunities.

Ahead of next season, the club are reportedly planning to bolster their strike force and have been linked with a possible move for Watkins.

Sportslens view:

The 25-year-old joined the Villans for an initial club-record fee of around £28 million and has impressed with 14 goals and three assists from 33 appearances.

Four of those goals have come in the league meetings against the Reds, including a stunning hat-trick in the sublime 7-2 victory back in October.

His performances will have caught the eye of Jurgen Klopp, who sanctioned a move for Takumi Minamino after he impressed against the club for Red Bull Salzburg.

Unlike Minamino, Watkins has adapted impressively to Premier League football, showing that he is more than just a target man in the box.

He has blistering pace for a centre-forward and has shown versatility with his desire to drop into wide positions to engage in counter-attacking runs.

On top of this, he has impressed with his hold-up and link-up play and has the knack of unleashing regular shots to test the goalkeeper.

Roberto Firmino has been the regular striker for the Reds, and he has built his reputation on delivering key passes for Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.

However, he has struggled with his main duty of finding the back of the net with just six goals from 41 appearances in all competitions this term.

Last summer’s signing Diogo Jota has occasionally started ahead of the Brazilian, and he has fared much better with 12 goals from just 25 outings.

After a disappointing league season, the Reds may want to freshen things up front, and Watkins would be a quality signing to replace Firmino.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com