It may have been a disappointing finale for Watford in their last game of the season but an FA Cup Final as well as a record Premier League points tally points to yet more progression at Vicarage Road. With the club continuously striving to match clubs with far superior resources they now have to turn their attentions to building yet again in the transfer window. I look to assess how they fared this season in terms of their recruitment for the 2018/19 campaign.
Gerard Deulofeu – From Barcelona (£11.5m) Rating: 8/10
The Spaniard was on loan at the club from January 2018 and despite injury troubles he gave the side a much needed boost when Javi Gracia was instated as Watford head coach. After making a permanent switch and further fitness problems in pre-season his 12 goal return has been important and more importantly he’s been the star of the show on multiple occasions to help Watford secure the 3 points. His position behind the striker has been equally frustrating at times, while his movement has been top class, his finishing in front of goal has been toothless in large parts. He has certainly progressed into this new position though and is a key man in the squad. He might well go missing and test your patience as a fan but equally you fear the Hornets would be worse without his presence. He’s definitely been a worthy capture and will comfortably be sold for more should he leave Hertfordshire.
Marc Navarro – From Espanyol (£2m) Rating: 4/10
Only a handful of games for the 23 year old, it’s difficult to really know what to make of this transfer, particularly as the club already had two right backs. When he has played he’s looked a competent player but with the fee being so small it’s hard to regard this as a waste of business.
Ben Wilmot – From Stevenage (£1m) Rating: 8.5/10
A potentially invaluable season for the teenager who has made a total of 10 appearances this season. For what is again a minuscule fee in today’s game you can only applaud the clubs intentions with this kind of deal. To see Wilmot try his hand in Serie A with Udinese is impressive as he’s already featured in some high profile games and this only bodes well for the future. He’s looked a very composed and tidy footballer in his cup appearances as well, playing in both central defence and midfield. The foundations have been set for a very bright future, it can go two ways though but for now it looks a superb piece of business by the club.
Adam Masina – From Bologna (£6m) Rating: 4.5/10
I pinned a lot of hope on the Italian being a big player for the Hornets this season. This was mainly due to the concerns of Jose Holebas’s form from the previous season. Not many would’ve envisaged Holebas having such a terrific campaign, meaning Masina had to settle for infrequent game time. You could argue his arrival has really got the best out of his competitor at left back, that in itself is a positive however looking at Masina indivually, he has a real mixed bag to contend with in his first season in England. He’s had some torrid matches when faced against some big name players from the top six, you could noticeably see his confidence took a big dent as the season went on but he has equally proved steady in other matches. I think for the time being he should get the benefit of the doubt with him lacking a run of games to gain some consistency. The most telling factor is when he is announced on the team-sheet, you worry.
Ben Foster – From West Brom (£3.5m) Rating 9/10
Foster was undoubtedly one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League this season. Barring a dodgy final chapter in the division you would struggle to argue against a place in the team of the season as he has been immense for the club yet again. He has clearly brought qualities on and off the pitch, his calmness often had a positive effect on the defence, his kicking and all round game were consistently dependable and he made so many decisive stops to help the club flourish throughout. Of course with Foster reaching the final years of his career, the aim was to be a short term hit and he certainly was that.
Ken Sema – From Ostersunds FK (£1.8m) Rating: 4.5/10
A transfer of the unknown, Sema has had 18 opportunities to showcase his talents for the club this season. You would have to say overall he’s not to the standard Watford will be looking for if they’re to really kick on. The Swedish wingers moments of quality were few and far between however he was reliable defensively and offered stability in some good wins. With the fee again being very low and it being the players first season in the Premier League, it can’t be seen as a poor piece of business however it can neither be seen as a raving success.
Domingos Quina – From West Ham United (£1m) Rating: 9/10
For such a low fee you’d have to say this is an outstanding piece of work from the club on the summer deadline day. The Portuguese teenager has already produced a couple of man of the match performances in a yellow shirt and looks to be a really exciting player for the future. With a couple of goals to his name and an ability to do both sides of the game, Quina is unfortunate to be in the same position where the squad is strongest. It is now vital Gracia utilities him correctly and he builds on his 13 appearances from this season.
What ratings would you change Watford fans? Let us know in the comments below!