Last night, I saw Plymouth were playing Portsmouth live on Sky Sports and thought I’d give it a watch.
‘Why on earth would he want to do that’ you may be wondering, however I was keen to see how highly-rated NUFC centre-back Kelland Watts got on – and I was left VERY impressed.
I was immediately aware of just how comfortable he looked on the ball, with him regularly stepping out of defence to start attacks.
Just look at this pass he played in behind the Portsmouth defence early on:
When it came to the dirty work at the other end, he was equally impressive.
A physical Portsmouth side lumped a free kick into the box early on and it was Watts who got up highest to head clear. He’s slight in stature and has some filling out to do, but is 6ft 3′ and clearly capable of holding his own in the air.
He also defended well when the ball was on the deck, with his positioning often good to cut out crosses, as well as him being strong in the tackle – showing no signs of weakness despite only just turning 21 – and reading the game well to mop up the danger.
After a few successful loan spells in League Two, he’s stepped up to the third tier this season and already looks too good for that level, with a stint in the Championship already on the cards for 2021 – if Steve Bruce doesn’t want to keep him, that is!
Great to see him making the most of his spell in the EFL ahead of his return to Tyneside in 2021.
His Premier League cameo against Liverpool on the final day of 2019/20 won’t be his last appearance in a black and white shirt if he keeps playing like that!