Former £28m Newcastle target makes 'stinker' St James' Park admission

Newcastle United's St James' Park is the most nerve-wracking stadium to play in for an opposition player. That is the verdict of Aston Villa and England forward Ollie Watkins who feels the height of the iconic Leazes Stand is intimidating for opposition players.

Watkins, who was actually linked with a move to Newcastle back in the summer of 2020, made the admission while appearing alongside England team-mate and Crystal Palace goalkeeper Dean Henderson during a video for the Three Lions' official YouTube channel.

The 28-year-old joined Aston Villa instead for an initial fee of £28million, while Newcastle signed Callum Wilson from Bournemouth instead.

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The former Brentford star has scored four times in seven appearances against Newcastle since but he is yet to score at St James' Park. Watkins led the line for the Villans during last season's bruising 5-1 defeat to the Magpies on the opening day of the season and he has also suffered a 4-0 loss on Tyneside, too.

And Watkins admits he has struggled to play at St James' Park, claiming he has 'had a stinker' every time he has played at the home of the Magpies.

“Yeah, Newcastle, St James’ Park,” Watkins told the Lions Den when asked which stadium he has played in which makes him the most nervous.

“I have had a stinker there every year, I think. But you just look up at that one stand and it just keeps going and going. I have heard they are making another one like that. I am like ‘no, don’t, please don’t’. But I would say there.”

Watkins is currently part of England's EURO 2024 squad and will hope to play some part in the Three Lions' quarter-final against Switzerland on Saturday in Dusseldorf, Germany.