English Striker, Andre Anthony Gray completed his signing to Premier League Club Watford for a record £18.5 million in the summer of 2017. Previously, the 26 year old had played for Shrewsbury Town, AFC Telford United, Hinckley United, Luton Town, Brentford and finally Burnley. Undeniably, Gray appeared to be the next superstar striker for the Hornets as he’d built quite the reputation during his time at Burnley, finding the back of the net 33 times in just two seasons. However, he has only scored 5 goals and contributed 2 assists in 30 appearances since joining the Hornets. More recently, Watford fans have begun to lose their patience with Gray, being a constant source of frustration, as he’s failed to deliver goals. On countless occasions he has given the ball away too easily as a result of a poor first touch and his efforts on goal are hurried and generally poor. I believe he is a striker that needs to be partnered, similarly to fellow forward Troy Deeney. However, the chances of playing two up front have been limited due to manager Javi Gracia’s preference to using only one striker in his starting formations, as was the case with previous manager Marco Silva. Also, annoyingly, when Gray is utilised as a sole striker, the Watford squad tend to play the ball to Gray in the air when it’s obvious he will not win any headers, as he’s not the tallest of strikers.
From what seemed like forever, Andre Gray finally got on the score sheet when he scored the winner in the last home game of the season in the 2-1 victory over Newcastle United, ending Watford’s seven match winless run. Gray had not scored since the 2-2 draw against Southampton at Vicarage Road in mid-January. Whilst being under Javi Gracia’s management, Gray has not been given a fair chance by the boss as his fifth goal of the season last Saturday was his second Premier League start, showing that he has spent most his time on the bench. Commenting on this situation, the number 18 stated “I would’ve liked to have had more games. I’ve not featured much since January, but it’s good to get on the scoresheet. Five is not the best number. I’d like to score in every game and hopefully I can do it next week”. Undoubtedly, Gray is a class striker and his work ethic can’t be questioned, but I believe Watford is not the club for him. Looking forward, I would be happy for the club to sell him on in the summer and buy a different striker, although his value will have dropped somewhat.
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featured image credit Sportsmole.co.uk