With the first team now back in training and gearing up for a new season under new boss Marco Silva, fresh faces will start to join up with the side as preparations take place ahead of the Hornets first game against Liverpool at Vicarage Road. Three signings have entered the building, and there is no doubt there will be more to come as I take a look at the early arrivals and what type of players the Golden Boys still need to attract in order to be in shape for this upcoming campaign.
Let’s start with the biggest arrival and a well known name with the 22 year old arriving from Derby County. Hughes was one of the brightest prospects in English football not too long ago but he hasn’t delivered like he was expected to as of yet. Injuries have played there part and this can be seen as a positive and negative for Watford fans. Reoccurring problems would massively dent the central midfielders development and chances of re-paying the transfer fee but alternatively an injury free season could see the England youngster flourish. In my opinion it looks a smart piece of business when you look at the crazy deals other clubs are taking part in. An initial £5m potentially rising to £8m has the potential to be a steal. Potential though is the key word, after the signing was made we saw just how talented Hughes is having played very well for the England Under 21’s. His balance, smart thinking and technical attributes are something the club lacked last season, not only can Hughes bring his own qualities to the table but I’m also hoping he gets more out of his midfield competitors now with competition in that department looking very healthy. You can’t fault the owners with the intent on this one, as ever we’ll have to see how he performs in a yellow shirt to start making a judgement.
A player I’ve never heard of so once again it’ll be a case of casting judgement given time. The Spanish right back arrives from Alaves on a free transfer who exceeded expectations in Spain last season. This looks a relatively risk free move and importantly provides competition for Janmaat who is prone to being on the treatment table. Femenia used to be deployed as a winger so his versatility could come to good use. On paper it seems to be a sensible one but also an interesting deal, hopefully the Spaniard can adapt quickly.
Another free transfer, this time arriving from Stoke. I wouldn’t place any real significance to this deal as it looks like the Austrian won’t be featuring as the number 1 in a rush this season. The 22 year old can hopefully develop at the club and become some form of asset, he should certainly be a step up from having Rene Gilmartin as Bachmann is also a home grown player.
What work needs to be done?
Starting from the back, Watford have reportedly been eyeing up a number 1 goalkeeper with Neto of Juventus a strong target. This would help the club move forwards despite the excellent service of Heurelho Gomes however there are more important positions that need filling I believe. Left back is a key area for improvement, despite Jose Holebas performing well in spells last season I would not be overly confident going into the season with the Greek full back being the first choice left back. Andy Robertson has been linked and he would be the perfect candidate although the chances of the Scottish international linking up with Marco Silva again looks dubious. George Friend is another player that could add value to the squad but the £8m fee Middlesbrough want is not so appealing. Regardless of names this is a key spot that needs to be carefully handled.
As mentioned previously the club are well stocked in the centre of the park and therefore this doesn’t need to be looked at. At least one wide man must arrive at Vicarage Road with the current options not providing much encouragement. Silva’s former club Hull has naturally seen the club linked with Lazar Markovic and Kamil Grosicki but neither of these players truly inspire me. With an awful lot of time left in the window hopefully the right man will be picked up. Finally the striker situation has to be looked at with Deeney and Okaka at the helm, both can contribute to the club but there is also no natural goalscorer which has to be a worry. The likes of Danny Ings and Javier Hernandez who is available is the type of model the club need to go for, to provide an alternative to the strength and power that the two current strikers possess.
Watford fans, do you share these thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!