The transfer window has slammed shut, which is good news for those of you who were getting sick and tired of all the rumours and the “in the know” social media accounts. It seems it might be even better news for Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores who wasn’t too impressed by the amount of players in his squad turning up for training every day, or the questions from supporters asking who Gino Pozzo will buy or sell next.
Fortunately for him and Watford fans all that is behind us now, meaning we can concentrate on the football side of things. Quique now knows his squad, at least up until January, meaning he can focus all his attention on his role as head coach.
Watford’s transfer window deadline day
It was an eventful day in Hertfordshire, which saw 3 players join the club and 4 players leave Vicarage Road.
Obbi Oulare, Victor Ibarbo and familiar face Adlene Guedioura all made the move to the Hornets on the 1st of September as Gino Pozzo looked to strengthen some areas of the team. Belgian striker Obbi Oulare signed for a reported £6 million and he will provide much needed competition for Troy Deeney in that lone striker position, a position which did lack strength in depth. Victor Ibarbo should hopefully provide the necessary pace in the attacking midfielder position, which only Ikechi Anya has provided so far. Lastly, fan-favourite Adlene Guedioura comes in from Crystal Palace after playing a key part in the Hornet’s promotion push last year. Guedioura could slot into the defensive midfielder position being a centre midfielder by trade. However, I think given his attacking prowess, he is much more suited to one of the wide attacking midfielder roles.
Thankfully for Quique Sanchez Flores the squad has been trimmed over the last week with several players moving away from Vicarage Road, mostly on loan. The 4 players that left Watford on deadline day include Matej Vydra, Gabriele Angella, Miguel Layun and Connor Smith. Reading have certainly bagged themselves an incredible striker in Matej Vydra who moves on loan to the Royals for a loan fee of £2.5 million. However if Reading win promotion they will sign Vydra for £10 million next summer. Italian centre back Gabriele Angella moves on loan to Queens Park Rangers in yet another move that surprised many Watford fans. Miguel Layun has also gone on loan but this time abroad to Porto who can buy the player for a reported £4.4 million. Lastly Connor Smith, who has come through Watford’s youth system, has been loaned out to Stevenage, presumably to try to give him some game time to aid his development.
Before deadline day, 2 players who have been at the club since the Pozzo’s arrival left Watford and both made the move north to play for Sheffield Wednesday. Daniel Pudil has gone to the Owls on a season-long loan whilst Fernando Forestieri has made a permanent move to Sheffield following a heartfelt goodbye to Watford fans.
Looking to the future
The big question surrounding the club before transfer window deadline day was who would be registered in the Hornet’s Premier League squad. With a maximum of 17 foreign players over the age of 21 Gino Pozzo had to plan his transfer deals carefully and he has done exactly that. With the squad submission deadline coming up shortly it is now more obvious to Watford fans who will be involved, where as it could only be speculated at just a week ago. In fact due to the squad being trimmed the Hornets may not even have to register 17 foreign players!
Bold – foreign players. Italic – home-grown players
Goalkeepers – Heurelho Gomes, Giedrius Arlauskis, Rene Gilmartin
Right backs – Allan Nyom, Juan Carlos Paredes
Centre Backs – Sebastian Prodl, Miguel Britos, Tommie Hoban, Craig Cathcart
Left backs – Jose Holebas, Nathan Ake (U21)
Defensive Midfielders – Etienne Capoue, Valon Behrami, Almen Abdi, Ben Watson
Attacking Midfielders – Jose Manuel Jurado, Adlene Guedioura, Steven Berghuis, Alessandro Diamanti, Odion Ighalo, Victor Ibarbo, Ikechi Anya
Strikers – Obbi Oulare (U21), Troy Deeney
Possible inclusions – Essaid Belkalem, Joel Ekstrand (long-term injured), Lloyd Doyley, Lloyd Dyer,
This is the squad that Flores will have to work with to ensure Watford’s survival in the Premier League. He did let it slip in an interview a week or so ago that he thought he had too many players in his squad and so I think he will be a lot more happy now he knows who he will be working with. The squad now is a good size in my opinion, which comes as a relief as Watford have had their issues with an oversized squad in the past.
The question that remains is whether Gino Pozzo has brought in enough quality this summer and whether Flores can keep this Watford squad in the Premier League.
What’s your opinion regarding this question and why?