Watford Player Ratings Following Narrow Spurs Defeat

Watford put in a valiant shift against Tottenham Hotspur, but unfortunately, they were unable to put an end to Nuno Espirito Santo’s perfect start to life in North London. The Hornets had a mixture of solid and worrisome individual performances.

Player Ratings

Daniel Bachmann: hard performance to rate. He should have undoubtedly done much better with the free-kick goal conceded and played a few balls right into Tottenham attackers. However, he also made a few point-blank saves to keep Watford in the game. Nonetheless, definitely one of his shakier performances since usurping the Club’s number one duties.

Rating: 5

Adam Masina: third questionable (to put it lightly) performance in a row. Frequently caught out of position and beat for pace, as well as being very poor in distribution. It is only a matter of time before Danny Rose earns the starting role.

Rating: 4.5

Francisco Sierralta: even though he was not necessarily at his very best, he still showed the need for him in the starting eleven. Sound with the ball at his feet and makes crosses less scary with his aerial prowess. 

Rating: 6

William Troost-Ekong: looked more comfortable paired alongside his former-Udinese teammate. Did not play those risky balls out from the back as he did against Brighton last week to lead to a goal for the Seagulls.

Rating: 6

Craig Cathcart: continues to struggle when lined up against pace and the right-back position was sounder with Jeremy Ngakia on the pitch. Did not give Ismaila Sarr much of any attacking support. Still, it is hard to be too critical when he is being played out of position.

Rating: 5.5

Peter Etebo: he shined once more in the “Will Hughes role.” Did not do much of anything wrong and was unfortunate to be shown yellow. Helped ensure the Hornets did not lose midfield control as they did against Brighton.

Rating: 7

Juraj Kucka: his impact in the starting eleven cannot be ignored. The physicality and robustness he brought into the midfield gave the Hornets a needed edge in the heart of the pitch. He traveled well forwards on a couple of occasions to test his luck from the edge of the box, an area he is capable of scoring from. However, he tired considerably towards the end of the match.

Rating: 6.5

Moussa Sissoko: provided a performance that summarizes the type of player he is: not necessarily the best on the ball, but still very physical and able to contribute to breaking up the opposition’s flow in the middle of the pitch. A rather quiet performance, but definitely a player who can play an important role this season.

Rating: 6

Emmanuel Dennis: once more, his pace caused trouble on counterattacks. Needs to have slightly better decision-making in the final third, but his dribbling ability sometimes resembled that of Gerard Deulofeu, especially early on in the match. However, in the end, he did not manage to force a save and quieted down as the game progressed.

Rating: 6

Ismaila Sarr: he was responsible for both of the Hornets’ attempts on target. Would have been able to cause Sergio Reguilon more problems than he did if the official booked the Spaniard for his poor challenge early on. Will perform better when a natural right-back is lined up behind him. Still, he continues to show why the Hornets will do everything they can to not sell him.

Rating: 6.5

Joshua King: had a relatively quiet showing, though he did help in some intricate wide interplay. Nonetheless, will want to make more noise the next time he is on the pitch.

Rating: 5.5


Jeremy Ngakia: once he settled into the match, he defended well when needed and looked, simply stated, more natural than Cathcart. Forayed forwards well on a couple of occasions.

Rating: 6

Cucho Hernandez: did not have ample opportunities to make his mark on the match – should have been substituted on earlier. Attempted a bicycle kick which was exciting, though perhaps a header would have been more appropriate. Overall, hard to rate given limited samples.

Rating: 5.5

Tom Cleverley: did what he needed to when he came on for Sissoko. Sometimes caught pressing a bit too high, though he admittedly needed to considering the Hornets were chasing the game.

Rating: 5.5

REPORT: Watford Sign Youngster Already Compared to James Rodríguez

First-team signatures are always the focus for supporters, especially during the dying embers of a transfer window. Academy/youth arrivals are usually, in the moment at least, less exciting. Nonetheless, between the many transfers of teenagers that go under the radar, some eventually turn into stars. Now, Watford have secured themselves a talent already compared to James Rodríguez. 

Watford Reportedly Sign Yaser Asprilla

As covered by Futbolete (relaying a tweet by Oscar Javier Garces), Watford have supposedly signed 17-year-old Yaser Asprilla in a move worth around £2.5 million. 

However, the Colombian cannot join up with Watford until the start of the January transfer window as his 18thbirthday is in November (and he cannot make the transfer to Europe until the first transfer window after his 18thbirthday). Thus, he is in a similar position to Joao Pedro when the Hornets initially signed him from Fluminense. 

Player Comparisons

Even though he is still very young and with limited senior experience, the excitement surrounding his name is loud – the transfer fee alone tells that story. So far this season, he has scored two goals and provided one assist in six appearances for Envigado in the Colombian top flight. 

Asprilla is versatile, well adept at playing as a right-winger and as an attacking-midfielder. Those who have worked with him during his development at Envigado compared him to James Rodríguez. The two-time Champions League winner came through the Envigado youth ranks too. Thus, the ones making comparisons are from the same place that helped create a £70 million player. The World Cup 2014 top goal-scorer also was (and still is) able to play both centrally and as a winger like Asprilla.

The youngster follows in the footsteps of Cucho Hernandez, in the sense both were scouted at a young age in Colombia and started making waves in their home nation’s top flight before making the European swap (admittedly, Cucho made his first-team debut in lower tiers before being sold to Granada – the formerly-Pozzo-owned Spanish side then loaned him to America de Cali. The rights to Cucho’s services were given to Watford once the Pozzo family sold Granada in 2016). 

Watford are well versed in their South American scouting success, uncovering gems such as Luis Javier Suarez and Pervis Estupinan who were sold for a combined fee of over £20 million despite never playing a competitive Vicarage Road minute. So, whether Asprilla signs as a financial investment for the future or to be eventually integrated into the first team remains to be seen, with the likelihood being the intention is a mix of both. 

If these reports are true, the Hornets undoubtedly have themselves a player with plenty of raw talent and tremendous upside.

Fees Named as One Midfield Star Departs Watford and Another Arrives

With the transfer window storming to a close, there has been no shortage of rumours and transfers flying around. With Will Hughes on his way to Crystal Palace for an initial fee in the region of £6 million with the potential for the sum to rise to £10 million (as reported by Adam Leventhal and Dominic Fifield of The Athletic), the Hornets had no shortage of funds to bring in yet another midfielder. Now, Watford have found their next potential midfield star – a player all Premier League fans will know a considerable amount about. 

Watford Set to Confirm Moussa Sissoko Arrival

Even with Peter Etebo, Imran Louza, Ozan Tufan, and Juraj Kucka arriving as midfield reinforcements upon the Hornets’ return to the Premier League, the hierarchy knows a strong, reliable, deep midfield is one of the biggest priorities in a quest for survival. With Hughes and potentially Nathaniel Chalobah departing, all of these signatures are necessary.

Still, after four central-midfielders arrived, even with the departure of Hughes, a fifth arrival was not necessarily a guarantee. However, the hierarchy swiftly acted to ensure the Hornets used those funds to sign a player who provides an upgrade in the middle of the park.

Moussa Sissoko signed for Tottenham in the summer of 2016 for around £30 million from Newcastle. A consistent member of Spurs’ match-day lineups ever since arriving, the Frenchman went on to make 202 appearances for the North London side. 

However, for the 32-year-old, minutes appear fewer and further between this season, leading both the Club and the player to agreeing a departure should be sought. Watford came knocking, and now, the deal is all but finalized.

Sissoko Transfer Fee Named

The powerful midfielder, mainly characterized by his strength and ability to ensure a midfield presence is always felt, gives the Hornets a type of player they do not already have. Players such as Kucka and Etebo for sure are characterized by their tough style of play (not shying away from challenges, willing to give the extra nudge, etc.), but Sissoko is a cut above most players in the league when it comes to sheer physicality and drive. 

Between Sissoko and the other arrivals, a loud midfield is shaping up. There is still a chance the Hornets try to bring in Okay Yokuslu to provide a true, natural number six. Even if they do not, Watford should now have enough in the heart of the pitch to not be dominated in the midfield like they were against Brighton. 

With confirmation from the Club set to arrive soon, Adam Leventhal of The Athletic reports Sissoko’s contract with Watford is a two-year deal with the option to extend one further year. He further says that the 71-time capped French international team player is arriving for a fee in the region of £5 million. Considering he is not in the last year of his Tottenham contract, even with his age, such a fee for a player of Sissoko’s talents and experience is fair.

(UPDATE: Watford have officially confirmed his arrival). 

Watford Likely Dealt Another AFCON Blow

With the first international break of the 2021/22 campaign swiftly approaching, countries are revealing their squad lists. With World Cup qualification matches to be played, managers know it is the time to only take the strongest players; experimenting with fringe players has to wait for friendlies. For Morocco, Adam Masina and Imran Louza have been given the nod. Both represented their respective European nationalities previously, but this year, they opted to activate their senior international swap. However, can Louza expect to play serious minutes in international competitions and earn a trip to AFCON?

Imran Louza Impressing in Early Stages of Career

Even though he has currently only featured in two matches for Watford and needs time to adjust to English football, it is clear Louza has a bright future ahead of him. In his time with Nantes, the versatile midfielder with a keen eye to thread intricate passes between the defensive lines played 66 senior matches, scoring 12 times in the process. 

His transfer to Watford for a fee in the region of £9 million shows how highly-rated the 22-year-old is. His playing style has a noteworthy level of finesse and composure to it, especially when compared to more robust, aggressive midfielders such as Juraj Kucka. Even as Louza’s best role at Watford remains to be seen, his versatility and vision at such a young age make him destined for top-flight and international success barring any surprising setbacks. 

International Outlook

For a few years, Louza has been on the radar of two international teams. He started his international career with Morocco’s U20 setup, ironically scoring in a 3-2 victory over France’s U20 team. He then proceeded to play eight combined matches for France’s U20 and U21 sides. However, considering France’s sheer depth in all positions and the hunger the midfielder has for a taste of senior international football, he decided to revert back to representing the country for which he made his international debut. 

This was the first time Morocco had to select a squad since Louza’s international switch, but as expected, Louza is on the roster for the World Cup qualification matches. Even though their other midfield talent is still impressive, Louza could have a key role to play. 

The seven central-midfield options making the trip to the matches are Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat (the brother of former Watford player Nordin) and Youssef Maleh, Louza, Standard Liege’s Selim Amallah, Benfica’s Adel Taarabt, QPR’s Ilias Chair, and Frankfurt’s Aymen Barkok. What must be noted is that the last four midfielders listed primarily line up as attacking-midfielders. Thus, it is likely going to be a battle between Amrabat, Maleh, and Louza for the holding and box-to-box roles. 

Vahid Halilhodžić, the manager of the Moroccan international team, almost exclusively lines up in formations that call for three central-midfielders. Thus, there must be this many options for sufficient rotation and depth. 

AFCON Departure Likely

With the international tournament running from January 9th to February 6th, Louza is probably going to miss a couple of league matches in the less-busy post-festive-period schedule. 

Nonetheless, this call-up is exciting for Louza and will only continue to help his development by giving him more experience in adjusting to different styles of play. This, in turn, could help him better adapt to changing to suit the Premier League’s style of play and Xisco Munoz’s tactics. Considering his international team manager loves three-central-midfielder formations and Louza’s ever-increasing talent, it is hard to see a scenario where Watford’s new signing does not make the squad for the prestigious tournament at the start of 2022.

Deeney’s Days at Watford Looking Numbered

No post-match tweet. No inclusion in the match-day squad. No sign of him anywhere. Following Watford’s victory over Crystal Palace, the Hornets’ (former) Club captain Troy Deeney was invisible between social media and the stadium. So, is there a chance Deeney’s Vicarage Road race is finally at an end?

Career Crossroads

Regardless of whether this transfer window is the end of the line in Watford and Deeney’s relationship, one of the ones in the near future will have to be. That is solely on the basis that he is 33-years-old, meaning, simply stated, his best days are only getting further and further behind him and places for him as a player at the Club are becoming less available. 

Especially if Watford maintain their Premier League status, unless the Club legend has a tremendous change in fortunes, there simply will not be room for him on the 25-man roster. Fans should of course remember him with nothing but fondness, but the reality that the best of his days are past cannot be ignored. 

In 19 Championship appearances last season, he scored just one open-play goal. The Hornets averaged 1.78 points-per-match when he started and 2.06 points-per-match when he did not. The statistics tell the story.

Tuesday’s Potential Turn of Events

Whenever a Watford head coach stands in Deeney’s way of featuring, well, usually the head coach cannot get that far as either the player or the hierarchy will insist upon his inclusion. Yesterday, this was not the case.

Geoff Doyle of BBC Three Counties Radio Sports started dropping hints suggesting Deeney’s Watford future may be up in the air. Perhaps there are just lots of coincidences, but the stars are aligning for a departure to be in the cards.

Doyle said (via Twitter) that Xisco told him, “It’s a question about today. I used these players as I want to see everyone, and I give a rest to Sarr, Kabasele, Masina, & Troy also. Moment now for try to give the best for the team. We need to speak about the guys who played.” 

Doyle proceeded to say how uncomfortable Xisco appeared when answering questions about Deeney and highlighted how U23-player Jaime Alvarado was selected over him. And, considering Deeney has only played 23 minutes over the first two matches, giving him “rest” is hard to believe. The other three players Xisco named have played all 180 minutes of the league season so far, making rests for them understandable. But, for Deeney, “rest” appears like it is an excuse for something else. 

Depth and Summer Recruitment Suggest Time is Up

As Ashley Fletcher, Joshua King, and Emmanuel Dennis were brought in this summer, as well as Cucho Hernandez returning from loan, the Hornets have no shortage of options in the center of the attack. And, with Joao Pedro soon returning from injury, yet another talented, starting-worthy center-forward option will be available. Thus, Deeney may already be finding himself as a fringe player, as he could be as far down as sixth-choice already. In the clash against Brighton, King and Cucho were thrown into the fray from the bench before Deeney eventually was. 

For fringe players, cup matches are the perfect time to get minutes in the legs to stay fresh in case a starting role becomes available via injury. So, for Deeney to not even make the match-day squad despite neither being injured nor ill is beyond just noteworthy. 

There is a small chance Deeney mysteriously needed rest and there is nothing more to this whole situation. However, considering the whispers starting to swirl, the squad’s present attacking options, yesterday’s situation, and the current junction of his career, a departure for Deeney before the end of the month would not be a shock in the slightest.

Watford Eyeing Two Defensive-Midfielders

After signing Juraj Kucka, Imran Louza, Ozan Tufan, and Peter Etebo, the Hornets might still not be done shaking up their midfield. With Will Hughes’ departure imminent and Nathaniel Chalobah also likely heading out the door, midfield reinforcements and improvements were (and still may be) needed. The 2-0 defeat against Brighton also showed a true number six would be a useful signing. And so, the Hornets appear on the lookout for yet another midfielder.

New Arrivals Get the Job Done, But Not Entirely

Even though Etebo has played well as a number six, Louza can play there as well, and Tufan also has been frequently deployed as a defensive-midfielder in his career, all of their best strengths are better utilized in more advanced-midfield positions. Tufan, for example, has moved to more progressive-midfield roles in recent years, notching 25-goal-contributions in the last two seasons alone. Etebo’s ball-carrying ability makes him better suited for a number eight role. Louza’s attacking creativity makes him more adept at playing as one of the two central midfielders in a 4-4-2 formation. 

So, when it comes to a true defensive-minded holding midfielder, one who will effectively act as a third center-back, the Hornets do not necessarily have someone who plays there most naturally.

Okay Yokuslu Links Persist

Almost one month ago, Okay Yokuslu’s agent met with Cristiano Giarreta, making a Watford arrival seem imminent. The Celta Vigo man, who impressed with West Brom while on loan for the second half of last campaign, is open to the move to the Premier League, according to Turkish-Football.

The recent arrival of Tufan at Watford might further push Yokuslu in favor of a move to Vicarage Road (as Wolverhampton Wanderers also have interest, according to Sky Sports). The two midfielders played together this summer at Turkey’s underwhelming Euro 2020 campaign. 

He would provide Watford a true defensive-midfielder and will only be brought in if he is to be a consistent starter. In Xisco Munoz’s 4-1-4-1 system, a player of Yokuslu’s strengths is necessary and has to be reliable every week. However, if Xisco is considering a formational change, then an arrival in the number six position may become unnecessary.

Isaac Hayden Also Reportedly Targeted

According to Football Insider, Watford are interested in signing Isaac Hayden, who is thought to be intrigued by the potential transfer. The report suggests, even though Hayden has started Newcastle’s first two matches, that a move away for him should not be written off, with the player and both teams open to a potential agreement. 

Like Yokuslu, Hayden falls into the category of an “extra-center-back-esque” midfielder. The 26-year-old also has more Premier League experience than Yokuslu, having featured in 106 top-flight matches. 

What to Expect

It is still hard to determine whether another midfielder will come through the door before August 31st. It will likely go down to whether the likes of Hughes and Chalobah (and maybe others) can be offloaded first. Nonetheless, the room for a true, natural defensive-midfielder still exists, especially ones that can also play as center-backs (as these two can) if necessary

Predicting Domingos Quina’s Watford Future

Watford have already signed four central-midfielders in this transfer window, and their shuffle in the center of the park may still not be finished. This leaves current midfielders at the Club, such as Domingos Quina, in a very difficult situation. For the talented youngster, what should the future hold, and what will likely occur?

What Quina’s Watford Career Should Look Like

After signing on deadline day in 2018 for a fee in the region of £1 million, expectations for the former Chelsea and West Ham youngster were high. In his first season at Watford, he impressed whenever given first-team opportunities. In his Hornets’ debut, he scored an outside-the-box screamer in a League Cup clash against Reading. He also scored a wonder-goal in one of his eight Premier League appearances that campaign.

The following season saw the attacking-midfielder play just 18 Premier League minutes. When the Hornets were relegated, his role was expected to increase. For the first half of the season, this held true: he featured in 14 of the Hornets’ first 18 matches post-relegation. However, an injury sidelined him for the time period when Xisco Munoz took the reins, meaning when Quina regained fitness, he was not part of the Spaniard’s plans. A loan to Granada for the second half of the campaign saw him score twice in eight appearances, though he was unable to truly break in as a consistent first-team starter.

This season, expectations remained high, though he has now been omitted from the first two Premier League match-day squads. Still, Xisco and Co. should try to convince the talented 21-year-old to extend his Vicarage Road stay. If he is not part of first-team plans this year, even though he should be included considering he is the Hornets’ only true creative-attacking-midfielder, then a contract extension and loan to a side where he is guaranteed to play consistent starting minutes is imperative. 

Simply stated, the Hornets should try to avoid repeating another Ben Wilmot situation, where they let a promising youngster depart when he still could have been used in the first team and will only continue to improve.

The Predicted Outcome

With his contract expiring at the end of the season (although an option-to-extend can be exercised) and Football Insider claiming Bournemouth are interested in securing his services, it might unfortunately be the time that Watford and Quina cut ties. Even though such is not optimal, the stars are aligning for the little-wanted departure to occur. Despite Quina’s creativity, the current tactics Xisco is pursuing do not necessarily call for a player with the Portuguese youth international’s specialties.

If the Hornets do not let him depart and continue to ice him out of the first team, then he will be lost for no profit next summer. Or, even if the optional extension is activated, a transfer would still be at a heavily-discounted price. Gino Pozzo, Scott Duxbury, Cristiano Giaretta, and Co. have undeniably done some tremendous business for the Hornets, though the management of Quina falls under the category of their more questionable decisions. 

Watford should be doing all they can to integrate arguably their most creative midfielder into the squad’s rotation. However, as the first couple weeks of the season suggest, such easing in does not seem in the cards. 

Watford Miss Out on Torino Center-Back

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 17thSky 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. 

Watford Player Ratings Following Abysmal Performance in Brighton

The Hornets were unable to replicate their impressive opening-day performance in a 2-0 defeat to Brighton. The hosts were always favored to win the match, but the ease with which they did it was a shock nonetheless. 

Player Ratings

Daniel Bachmann: not at fault for either goal and tremendously let down by the men in front of him. Not much action otherwise. 

Rating: 6

Craig Cathcart: playing as a right-back for the second successive match, Cathcart had a shaky performance. He was one of Watford’s few aerially sound players, and in his defense, he performed better than Watford’s opposite full-back.

Rating: 5

William Troost-Ekong: weak in the air and played an atrocious pass in the direction of Cleverley to gift the Seagulls a two-goal cushion. As with many players in the Watford squad, he had a performance to forget.

Rating: 4.5

Christian Kabasele: although not overwhelmingly solid, he performed better than his center-back partner and was sounder in the air. 

Rating: 5.5

Adam Masina: should be seriously worried about losing his starting spot now. He was arguably Watford’s worst player against Aston Villa and lots of people would agree he was the Hornet’s biggest weak spot in this match too. His defensive positioning and awareness were poor throughout, and he was also the man to lose his marker for the opening goal of the match. He did not provide much of anything going forwards either. Danny Rose, if his fitness permits, deserves to get a chance as the starter.

Rating: 4

Ken Sema: as poor as Masina was, Sema did not give him enough support in the first half. Especially considering the Swede is known for his defensive soundness despite being an attacker, that trait did not show in the first 45 minutes when Brighton were causing overloads on the left. He had a couple of decent attacking moments, but he was unthreatening overall and does not appear to be the Hornet’s best option for the left-wing role (more on this later).

Rating: 4.5

Imran Louza: Watford’s most-expensive signing of the summer had an underwhelming debut performance. He looked to play his signature through-balls on a couple of occasions, though largely to no avail. However, considering the flow of the first half, he did not get enough opportunities to show the best of his talents.

Rating: 5

Peter Etebo: following a stellar Watford debut, Etebo was unable to help the Hornets gain an ounce of control in the midfield. Still, he defended robustly and was one of the few players who had sufficient positional awareness. 

Rating: 6

Tom Cleverley: like Louza and Etebo, he was unable to give the Hornets a foothold in the midfield (though with Brighton attacking frequently through wide positions and the Hornets struggling to defend in those areas, Watford did not get many chances to cement their spot in the heart of the pitch). He was also partially at fault for Brighton’s second goal, not being strong while checking in for the poor pass from Troost-Ekong.

Rating: 4.5 

Ismaila Sarr: it is hard not to feel bad for Watford’s club-record signing. He was not given the service he requires to be most effective, yet he still provided moments of brilliance to maintain attacking possession and try to open up goal-scoring opportunities. Nonetheless, it was one of his quieter performances. 

Rating: 6

Emmanuel Dennis: would have scored a brilliant goal to halve the deficit if he had checked his run slightly better in the second half. Ran his socks off yet again and made a few good runs behind the Brighton back-line which caused them their few moments of trouble. He deserves to keep his starting spot as a center-forward for the next league outing.

Rating: 7


Cucho Hernandez: he is a must-start for the clash against Tottenham Hotspur next weekend off of the left-wing in place of Sema. He provided a few moments of brilliance and made the left flank threatening whenever he was on the ball. The Colombian put in a teasing delivery across the box with a Sema-esque run and was not too far from scoring an ambitious looping volley. The Hornets looked like a more threatening team with him on the pitch.

Rating: 7 

Joshua King: performed considerably well when he came on, shaking off defenders with strong turns and dropping back deep when necessary to provide a conduit from defense to attack during transitions of play (notably on the occasion where Dennis scored the offside goal). He could very well have worked himself into starting consideration (which would likely result in a change of formation).

Rating: 6.5

Troy Deeney: joined the fray late on, but he provided lots of aerial threat, something which was missing from Watford’s game for the first 78 minutes. He could very well become the Hornets’ go-to impact substitute considering the different type of attacking option he offers when compared to anyone else in the Club’s books.

Rating: 6

Major Update Emerges in Watford’s Rumoured Pursuit of Levi Garcia

From Ismaila Sarr to Cucho Hernandez to Emmanuel Dennis to Ken Sema, Watford have no shortage of options on the wings. However, as both Cucho and Dennis can be seen as starting central options and Sarr (and potentially Dennis) will miss time at the start of 2022 due to AFCON, room for another winger at Watford, although not necessary, still exists.

Watford Linked With Levi Garcia

As previously covered on Watford Opinions, the Hornets are linked with a move for Levi Garcia, a winger Vladimir Ivic once called “the best player in Israel.” Now on AEK Athens, the 23-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago has impressed with his pacey raw talent and flair turning into goal contributions. 

A move for the winger is not the most likely considering the Hornets’ current wide choices and the fact Philip Zinckernagel can be recalled from his Nottingham Forest loan in January when Sarr departs for AFCON. Still, considering Garcia’s talent and tremendous potential to further improve, it is hard to look away from the whispers about the talented attacker.

AEK Athens are in a tough situation when it comes to naming the right price for Garcia as Israeli side Beitar Jerusalem will receive 40% of his next transfer fee. Watford’s initial offer was thought to be around £4 million for Garcia, falling into the category of a “we are interested if you are willing to negotiate” offer. The Greek side could be seeking up to two or three times that sum for his signature, especially considering the hefty cut Beitar Jerusalem will take. 

Injury Casts Doubt Over Summer Departure

The Trinidad and Tobago Guardian explains how a summer transfer for Garcia is now thrown into doubt following a meniscus injury that could keep him out for up to one month. With Wolfsburg also vying for his services, a move to a “Top Five league” was certainly in the cards for Garcia.

Transferring in injured players can be a risky game, especially when it comes to injuries such as a meniscus tear. Medicals often involve a cardio component, and with deadline day in less than two weeks, there is a considerable chance Garcia would not be fit enough to complete the cardio portion of his medical when resting and less-intense exercises are the calling for repairing the tear. Teams could technically exempt him from certain parts of their respective medical procedures to push the deal through, but that is far from optimal.

Watford, Wolfsburg, and other interested clubs still have time to make a swoop for his signature in this transfer window, though the injury complicates any potential move. His suitors, if no transfer materializes this month, will for sure be keeping a close eye on his progression throughout the first half of the campaign before reconsidering opening transfer talks in January. 

The versatile attacker, who has primarily played as a left-winger in his career but mainly lined up as a right-winger for the Greek side last campaign, could be brought in by Watford to provide Zinckernagel competition for who Sarr’s successor should be.