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5 other big moves from Football League to Premier League like Ollie Watkins

Dele Alli, Daniel James and James Maddison have made the moves up

Ollie Watkins joined Aston Villa in what is reported to be a club-record £28million deal that could potentially rise to £33million.

The 24-year-old, who netted 25 goals in the Sky Bet Championship last term and was just pipped to the golden boot by Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic, has signed a five-year contract at Villa Park and becomes the most expensive player with no top-flight experience to move from the Football League to the Premier League.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some other players who have made big moves up to English football’s top table.

Dele Alli

Dele Alli earned England call-ups on the back of his move from MK Dons to Tottenham

Dele Alli quickly became an England regular after moving to Tottenham in 2015 (Nick Potts/PA)

Alli joined Tottenham at the age of 18 in February 2015 for an initial fee of £5million, having impressed with 12 goals in 25 League One games that term. He was immediately loaned back to the Dons and helped them secure automatic promotion to the Championship. He made his Spurs debut in August 2015 and was named young player of the year by the Professional Footballers’ Association in 2016 and 2017. He has also become a regular in senior England squads and featured at the 2016 European Championship and the 2018 World Cup.

James Maddison

James Maddison has impressed at Leicester following his move from Championship club Norwich

James Maddison has impressed at Leicester following his move from Championship club Norwich (Richard Sellers/PA)

Leicester signed Maddison, then aged 21, from Norwich for a reported fee of around £20million in summer 2018. The midfielder has since made 67 Premier League appearances for the Foxes, scoring 13 goals, and won his first and so far only senior England cap in a Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro last November. He was linked with Manchester United earlier this summer but last month signed a new four-year contract at the King Power Stadium.

Daniel James

Hull-born Wales international James became Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first signing when he moved to Old Trafford for £15million aged 21 in June 2019. Having scored five goals in 38 games during his breakthrough season at Swansea, James was handed a five-year deal at Manchester United, but has had mixed fortunes since the transfer and has struggled to secure a regular starting berth.

Neal Maupay

Neal Maupay scored 10 goals during his debut season at Brighton

Neal Maupay scored 10 goals during his debut season at Brighton (Gareth Fuller/PA)

The former France Under-21 international started out with Nice before switching to St Etienne in 2015 and then heading to England to join Brentford in 2017. Having impressed with 41 goals in 95 games for the Bees, the winger moved to Brighton last summer in a £16million deal. He bagged 10 goals in 37 goals during his debut season for the Seagulls.

Wilfried Zaha

Wilfried Zaha was limited to just two Premier League appearances at Manchester United

Wilfried Zaha was limited to just two Premier League appearances at Manchester United (Martin Rickett/PA)

Zaha moved to Manchester United aged 19 in a £10million transfer from Crystal Palace in what turned out to be Sir Alex Ferguson’s last signing before his retirement. The forward was bought on a long-term contract in the January 2013 transfer window before being loaned back to the Eagles for the remainder of the campaign. During his time at Old Trafford, Zaha made only two Premier League appearances, both as a substitute. He was loaned to Cardiff in January 2014 and then Palace in August of that year before the move became permanent six months later. In 2017 he switched his international allegiance from England to Ivory Coast.