ARSENAL's new list has been shortened to one name.
Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins will not be leaving the club this summer, according to his manager Steven Gerrard. Arsenal have been linked with an England international as they try to rebuild their front line.
Arsenal now seem to be losing Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah at the end of their contracts. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left in January, leaving Folarin Balogun as the only other option up front.
But Watkins will not be a member of the Gunners team. Gerrard says there is no way the former Brentford star will leave.
She said: “Ollie has nowhere to go. We love him.
“We really enjoy working with him. To take on this challenge at Villa which we want to take on, we need scorers and we need great players and Ollie Watkins is a top player.
“I will fight as hard as I need to when something happens but I know the manager, general manager Christian Purslow and player Johan Lange are all the same.
“We like him. So, it’s right: ‘No’ from us.”
Watkins, 26, has 10 Premier League goals to his name this season. He has two goals from his seven England appearances and Gerrard believes he should be part of Gareth Southgate’s squad going forward.
He added: “I think Ollie can play left front, nine and usually right foot, so he can do it from there. People told me he can’t played with Danny Ings a long time ago.
“For me, he can be a place to focus on.
“His numbers have hurt this season because he’s everything on the team. He’s been more consistent because he may have been more selfish in front of goal. He rewarded himself for it. all his good works.
“For me, I judge up front on what they give you from what they get and get. For me, he throws both boxes. I know he can get numbers,” he confirmed in the last year.
“And I think it’s going to be a great sign for Gareth Southgate, to go to the games because he’s so strong and you think a lot of the opponents think of him.”