The Hornets should continue to look for defensive reinforcements until the transfer window closes for multiple reasons. Young Mattie Pollock arrived at the start of the window from Grimsby Town, though he is a player for the future rather than an immediate Premier League starter. A new, talented senior center-back appeared close to arriving at Vicarage Road, but now, Southampton have hijacked the transfer.
Watford Had Interest in Lyanco
On August 17th, Sky Sports reported the Hornets were nearing a deal for the 24-year-old. A £7.5 million fee was close to being agreed between Watford and Torino. Lyanco is under contract at Torino until 2024 following a contract extension in 2019.
He initially signed for the Italian side in 2017, leaving Sao Paulo FC for around £6 million. He only played six matches in all competitions in his first season in Europe. However, he spent the second half of the following season on loan to Bologna, impressing to the point where he was rewarded with the new contract.
In an injury-stricken 2019/20 campaign, he featured 18 times for Torino. Last season, he played 25 matches for them, particularly impressing with his brilliant distribution (something Watford lack with their current center-backs). Lyanco has also played 19 times for Brazil’s youth teams.
Despite impressing, it is suspected that Ivan Juric, Torino’s new head coach, is not fond of the center-back, allowing for a summer departure.
Southampton Set to Beat Watford for His Signature
Despite Watford reportedly being close to wrapping up a deal for the Brazilian, Dan Sheldon of The Athletic claims the Saints have agreed a deal in principle for the defender. The Hornet’s (potential) relegation rivals want a replacement for Jannik Vestergaard following his £15 million departure to Leicester City.
Center-Back Worries Persist Following Defeat in Brighton
After a phenomenal opening-day victory against Aston Villa, the Hornets lost in poor fashion to Brighton by a score-line of 2-0. Defensive breakdowns were responsible for both goals, with the first coming from an unmarked man on a corner and the second a result of a poor pass out of the back from William Troost-Ekong.
With only four center-backs with top-flight experience and some already appearing off the pace for consistent Premier League football, another center-back should be brought in to provide starting competition. A center-back such as Lyanco, one who is talented in playing out of the back, would be optimal. He would have been an ideal signing, but Southampton moved too swiftly. Whether the Hornets will be able to swoop in for a different target before August 31st remains to be seen.