Watford Linked With Move for Rennes Midfielder James Lea Siliki

James Lea Siliki

According to Adam Leventhal of The Athletic, discussions between Rennes and Watford regarding a potential move for James Lea Siliki.

Watford in Talks to Sign James Lea Siliki

Talks Between Clubs Ongoing

The deal between the clubs, if it happens, is to be a six-month loan with an option-to-buy at the end.

Ismaila Sarr is a player who makes the move a bit more likely. The two are known to have had good chemistry during their days together in France. Lea Siliki assisted Sarr in a Europa League match against Arsenal in 2019.

The last time Watford signed a player from Rennes, they broke their transfer record by signing Sarr. The most recent French midfielder the Hornets signed from Rennes was now £20 million Abdoulaye Doucoure.

Drop in Playing Time 

In the 2017/18 campaign, the midfield played in 37 matches in all competitions for Rennes. The following season, he appeared in 34 matches. Last season, 29 matches. But this season, he has only seen the pitch 10 times in all competitions.

The central midfielder by trade played on the left-wing in a Champions League defeat against Chelsea. Otherwise, he has appeared in his more natural central midfield role. Having only played 14% of possible league minutes, a move away from Roazhan Park makes the most sense.

Etienne Capoue Replacement 

At the beginning of the January transfer window, Capoue was sold to Villareal. The Hornets are yet to sign a replacement. Considering Watford’s midfield depth and Will Hughes’ return from injury, someone to fill Capoue’s shoes was not deemed entirely necessary if the price was not right.

The price is certainly right when it comes to Lea Siliki. The 24-year-old is a like-for-like Capoue replacement. Both are defensive midfielders who possess the ability to push forward with strong runs and break the lines with incisive passes.

The loan deal would cost the Hornets only as much as Lea Siliki’s wages. With the financial implications of the deal not being extreme, the Hornets will continue to try and push the deal over the line. If they achieve promotion, expect the option-to-buy to be utilised.

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