Watkins spent time with English lower tier club Exeter City in his junior career, impressing at under-age level with his prolific scoring, leading to his first professional contract and senior debut with Exeter in 2014.
After a loan spell with Conference South club Weston-super-Mare, Watkins netted eight league goals in the 2015-16 League Two campaign and then another 16 in all competitions in 2016-17, earning the EFL Young Player of the Year award, prompting interest from bigger clubs in higher divisions.
|Team||Aston Villa FC|
|Height / weight||1.8 m / 70 kg|
|Born||30 Dec 1995|
|Aston Villa||2020 - present|
|Brentford||2017 - 2020|
|Exeter City||2014 - 2017|
|Weston-super-Mare A.F.C.||2014 - 2015 (loan)|
In July 2017, English Championship club Brentford signed Watkins on a four-year contract with the option of an additional season for a reported 1.8 million pounds. He enjoyed two good seasons before a standout 2019-20 campaign where he netted 26 goals, helping Brentford reach the promotion playoff final, which they lost 2-1 to Fulham. He won the 2019-20 Championship Player of the Year award and was named in the league’s PFA Team of the Year.
In September 2020, Watkins received his Premier League chance after signing with top flight club Aston Villa - who were led by ex-Brentford boss Dean Smith - on a five-year deal for a then club-record fee of 28 million pounds, rising to 33 million pounds.
He netted his first Premier League goals in October 2020 in a remarkable 7-2 victory over Liverpool, pulling off a perfect hat-trick in the game. He settled in well at Villa, netting 14 Premier League goals in his first season and continued to score frequently since, including a career-best 15 goals in the 2022-23 season as they finished seventh under Unai Emery. Around this time, he was linked with Arsenal but a move didn’t transpire.
Watkins wasn’t capped by England at under-age level, instead making his senior debut in 2021 after being called up for World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland. He debuted against San Marino in a 5-0 win, netting his maiden England goal with his first shot on target in the game.
Watkins was named in England’s provisional Euro 2020 squad, with the tournament played in mid-2021, but didn’t make the final cut. He also missed out on England’s 2022 World Cup squad.