The summer transfer window is swiftly approaching as the 2020/21 season starts to conclude. For Watford, so much of their future, in terms of finances and personnel, comes down to their possible promotion. The Hornets will be hoping they can maintain their cushion in second place and clinch automatic promotion sooner than later.
Even though that is not a guarantee as of yet, summer transfers should still start to be considered. For Watford’s young defender Ben Wilmot, the future grew murkier with the latest transfer link.
Watford Eyeing Up Kean Bryan Signature
Kean Bryan Starting To Impress
With Sheffield United destined for relegation from the Premier League, an exodus of their talented players is highly possible. One of the first names linked with a departure is Kean Bryan. The former Manchester City centre-back joined the Blades in 2018, though he was loaned to Bolton in the 2020 January transfer window (but only ever made six appearances until the coronavirus lockdown).
Bryan has found more minutes this season as time progressed. He was in their match-day squad 18 times this current campaign while starting six of their last nine matches. He played the full ninety minutes when Sheffield United secured a rare win via keeping a clean sheet against Aston Villa.
Host Of Clubs Interested In Signing Him
As initially reported by the Sun and since reported by other sources, Watford are one of three main clubs, alongside Fulham and Swansea City, interested in bringing in the former England Under-20 international.
With Sheffield United destined for a return to the Championship after two seasons, Fulham still more likely to be relegated than not, and Swansea City still having a somewhat steep hill to climb to be promoted, it has to be assumed Watford, the club most likely to be in the Premier League next season, have the upper hand in the race for his signature. If the player who scored the winner in the surprise 2-1 victory at Old Trafford has a chance to stay in the Premier League, then he is more likely to sign for a team that can offer him that.
But, for Watford, bringing Bryan in could prove to be at the expense of an important player of their own.
Ben Wilmot Could Seek Transfer If Bryan Arrives
Ben Wilmot Has Impressed Since Signing Despite Young Age
Watford gave seven figures to Stevenage for Wilmot’s signature in 2018. Despite being 18-years-old at the time, he frequently made the Hornets’ bench and earned himself appearances in cup competitions. He spent the second half of the 2018/19 season on loan in Serie A with Udinese – going on to make five appearances.
Last season, the now 21-year-old played with Swansea City. He went on to make 21 appearances before an injury ended his campaign. Some Swans fans called for the Club to make his deal permanent.
Especially once Watford were relegated, it was expected the youngster would play a tremendous part in the club’s first second-tier campaign in six years. At the start of the season, such assumptions were correct: he was a consistent starter under Vladimir Ivic. Unfortunately for him, once Xisco Munoz came in, he fell out of favour.
Bringing In Kean Bryan Could Cause Ben Wilmot Transfer in Search For Minutes
After neither starting in the last 19 matches nor making an appearance in the last seven, Wilmot’s future has come under uncertainty. With the rise of Francisco Sierralta, the Hornets have another young centre-back to work around. If the 23-year-old centre-back gets Bryan, 24-years-old, alongside him, then Wilmot will likely think he is always going to be deemed surplus to requirements.
Whether Wilmot’s fortunes change next season remains in the air (as who knows who Watford’s head coach next season will be). But, considering his lack of playing time now in an already-competitive centre-back department, another recruitment at the back could further disgruntle him.
Wilmot is talented, continues to show improvement, and rarely sets a foot wrong when given opportunities as a starter. The 21-year-old knows he should be playing consistent first-team football. The optimal scenario for the Hornets is they bring in Bryan and Wilmot remains content. However, if further moved down the pecking order, Wilmot may ask to leave – and not just on loan. Watford cannot afford to lose one of their best prospects.