OPINION: Ex-Manchester City youngster now at Stoke could be ‘the next Ollie Watkins’
Stoke City overcame Huddersfield Town 4-3 yesterday, owing to a first-half brace from former Manchester City academy player Tyrese Campbell.
The talk of the weekend was Stoke’s seven-goal thriller with Huddersfield. A game that could’ve gone either way, but always looked to be in favour of Stoke saw the Potters go 7th in the Championship table.
It was another fine performance from Campbell as well – two well-taken goals from close range sees him becoming a more clinical striker with every outing.
His goals yesterday resembled someone from last season’s Championship campaign – former Brentford and now Aston Villa star Ollie Watkins.
Both blessed with pace and both with a strikers’ finish that probably some don’t give them enough credit for.
Now scoring goals in the Premier League, Watkins’ quick rise through the Football League pyramid is something to be admired and something for Campbell to aim for.
Last season was stop-start for Campbell, as it was for the club in general. He managed nine goals in 33 league appearances but would come into better form under Michael O’Neill.
The former Northern Ireland boss has so far worked wonders at the club and has them eyeing promotion back to the Premier League.
Campbell is being deployed as a right-sided winger. He feeds off of summer signing Steven Fletcher – who’s proved pivotal to the way O’Neill sets his side up – and he’s already bagged five Championship goals this season.
With three of those coming in his last two outings, the Englishman looks to be picking up speed ahead of the festive period and it could see Stoke jump into the top-six at any time.
From humble beginnings to a professional offer from Manchester City, Campbell may well feel he made the absolute right decision in rejecting that offer, and seeking genuine first-team experience elsewhere.
Stoke took a risk on the striker and it’s now paying off. Seeing how so many Premier League clubs are looking towards the Championship for the best up and coming talents, we may yet see Campbell become the target of Premier League suitors.