With Mattie Pollock now out on loan, the Hornets only have four senior center-backs. With William Troost-Ekong destined to travel to AFCON and Craig Cathcart injured, it is easy to see how another center-back is needed to ease depth concerns for the season. Even an instant-starting option could be sought. However, there is not much time left to complete a transfer.
Watford Could Still Sign a Defender
According to Adam Leventhal of The Athletic, there seems to be a 50/50 chance that the Hornets bring in a new defender before the transfer window closes at 11pm GMT. The signing would ideally be able to provide an option as both a center-back and a full-back.
Players Who May Be Targeted
Early on in the transfer window, a deal seeing Jens Stryger Larsen transfer from Udinese to Watford appeared likely. The two clubs frequently do business due to having the same owning family, though Watford are yet to sign a player from the Italian side in this transfer window.
Larsen reportedly rejected a move to Galatasaray in July following his impressive displays at Euro 2020. The 30-year-old perfectly fits the bill as a versatile defensive option who can play both centrally and out wide. Primarily playing as a right-back (or right-wing-back), he has also found success lining up on the left. He has also played 25 career matches as a center-back (source: transfermarkt).
Another player who could be looked at is England U21 defender Jonathan Panzo. Last year, Nizaar Kinsella of Goal claimed Udinese were looking closely at his signature and suggested they could offer him a route back to English football via Watford. Thus, he is known to be on the Pozzo family’s radar. Now that Dijon have been relegated to the French second tier, a deal to secure his services should come at a discount price.
Panzo, who primarily plays center-back, can also effectively play as a left-back. Thus, like Larsen, he fits the bill for what Watford are looking for when it comes to back-line versatility. He would also be the Hornets’ only left-footed center-back and would not count against the 25-man roster due to his age, both facts which should appeal to the Club’s hierarchy.
At the time of writing, there are only seven hours left for any deal to be completed. The Hornets might be finished bringing in new players, but do not be surprised if a new face or two come through the door.