Watford suffered an up and down 2017/18 season. Things started well under new boss Marco Silva, however following Everton’s reported interest in the Portuguese man the club struggled to continue their good form. In January, after winning just one of their last eleven Premier League games, the board had seen enough and hired Spaniard Javi Gracia after sacking Marco Silva.
Gracia stabilised the club in the months that followed and despite seeing his side struggle over the last few games, led them to a 14th place finish. Gracia has now become the 4th Watford Premier League manager in as many summers and will look to put his own stamp on the side this summer.
So far this summer Watford have signed two new players. Youngster Ben Wilmot has signed from Stevenage and Barcelona’s Gerard Deulofeu has joined the club permanently for £11.5 million. Andre Carillo, Didier N’dong and Orestis Karnezis have all returned to their parent clubs.
Bologna defender Adam Masina is on the verge of joining the club after an impressive season in Italy. The left-back has been an ever present for Bologna over the last three seasons and at 6’ 2” should cope with the physicality of the Premier League.
Heurelho Gomes is unfancied by Gracia and the Spaniard has been linked with making a move for fellow Spaniard Sergio Rico. The player has reportedly rejected a move to Napoli with his heart set on a Premier League move.
Watford are also interested in Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland but may be put off by the £25 million fee. With Troy Denney and Andre Gray struggling last season, Watford had been linked with a move for West Brom striker Salomon Rondon. The club are likely to face competition from Newcastle and Cardiff for his signature with the player’s £16.5 million relegation release clause likely to be triggered this summer. The Hornets were reportedly interested in bringing Swansea’s Alfie Mawson to the club in the January transfer window and may move back for the defender after Swansea’s relegation.
The ever-impressive Abdoulaye Doucoure was arguably Watford’s player of the season last year and is attracting interest from a number of other Premier League clubs. Tottenham see the Frenchman as a long-term replacement for the departing Moussa Dembele and both Liverpool and Arsenal have previously held interest in the player. Watford will also have to fight off bids for Brazilian forward Richarlison.
The player is attracting interest from Manchester United, Chelsea, Everton and Liverpool after an impressive first Premier League season. Former Juventus man Roberto Pereyra has also been linked with a move back to Serie A. Goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon also looks set to leave the club with many Championship sides interested.
Written by Dan Blank.