“I would love to see see him involved a little bit more” – Jermain Defoe Urges England Boss To Give 28-Year-Old His EURO 2024 Shot

England Coach Gareth Southgate
England Coach Gareth Southgate

Former Premier League striker Jermain Defoe has expressed his desire to see Ollie Watkins get more minutes in England’s EURO 2024 Round-of-16 meeting with Slovakia on Sunday (June 30). Defoe believes the Aston Villa ace could help the Three Lions be more dynamic in the final third of the pitch.

Jermain Defoe Wants Gareth Southgate To Use Ollie Watkins In EURO 2024 Round of 16

England manager Gareth Southgate has gotten a lot of flak for his team’s underwhelming performances at EURO 2024. However, despite his team’s struggles in the final third, Southgate has not made any personnel changes up top. He has stuck with the front three of Phil Foden, Harry Kane, and Bukayo Saka, with Jude Bellingham offering support.

For the Round of 16 meeting with Slovakia, Defoe has advised Southgate to take a look at Watkins, who came to EURO 2024 after claiming 19 goals and 13 assists in the Premier League last season.

Explaining why the 28-year-old would be a fine addition, Defoe told the PA news agency (via Irish News):

When Ollie Watkins came on (against Denmark), he looked really sharp. 

He is someone who can get us up the pitch because he is so dynamic. He runs in behind, the ball doesn’t only come to his feet.”

The former England international added:

I would love to see see him involved a little bit more because Harry Kane can drop into that 10 position, to roam and do his stuff.

Harry is such a world-class finisher and it is almost like he can play in two positions, having almost mastered the number nine position as a focal point and can then also play in at number 10 because his passing rate is one of the best.”

How Has Ollie Watkins Fared For England In Germany

Watkins, 28, has played just 22 minutes of soccer for England in EURO 2024. Southgate introduced him for Harry Kane in the 69th minute in the 1-1 draw with Denmark, and Watkins almost made an instant impact. Three minutes after coming on, he latched on to a ball in behind and had a go at Kasper Schmeichel’s goal from a tight angle. The Anderlecht goalkeeper made a fine save to deny the forward.

He also won an aerial duel and attempted a dribble in the 20-odd minutes he was on the pitch.

Latest news

View all
Arrow to top