David Moyes has admitted West Ham United have been keeping tabs on Aston Villa star Ollie Watkins since the striker’s time at Brentford. The Hammers manager spoke very highly of the England international after the 4-1 defeat at Villa Park on Sunday evening, singling him out for praise.
Watkins scored one and assisted another as Unai Emery’s side made it 11 home Premier League wins on the bounce. Douglas Luiz was another Villan on fire as he netted twice and would’ve had a hat-trick if it wasn’t for a sublime save from West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola in the first half.
But Watkins was the man to earn a few revealing words from Moyes post-match as he surprisingly opened up about a previous transfer hope. “Yeah, we did [make a move for Watkins] when he was at Brentford. He scored a good goal today,” Moyes said.
West Ham were heavily linked with the attacker before he switched Brentford for Villa in 2020 and now it’s been confirmed it wasn’t only speculation. The interest was genuine and no wonder, as Watkins now has 51 goals and 18 assists in 130 games for Villa.
Moyes believes Emery’s team are set to be one of the biggest rivals for the European spots this season and not just for West Ham but also some of the English top tier’s elite.
“Aston Villa are probably just behind the top three or four big names in the Premier League. It was a big challenge to see what level we were at and we fell below. We should’ve given them as close of a game as we did Newcastle. Villa are one of the teams on the tails of the teams above them,” Moyes said.
West Ham’s third league defeat of the season sees them drop down to ninth, two points off the top six. The Villans, meanwhile, have now solidified fifth spot and are just two points away from the summit of the table.