With an automatic return to the Premier League all but clinched – and having a chance to mathematically go up on Saturday – Watford need to start thinking about their return to the top-flight. It would take a monumental catastrophe for the Hornets to not achieve promotion now. So, it’s time to dive into all the names who have been mentioned as potential Watford transfer targets.
Watford Transfer News – Hornets Targeting A Handful Of Signings
Defensive Depth Sought After
According to a report from the Sunday Mirror (page 62, April 18) and relayed by Chronicle Live, Watford are eyeing a move for Newcastle United goalkeeper, Karl Darlow. The 30-year-old made 25 appearances in the Premier League this season for the Magpies prior to Martin Dubravka’s return from injury. Darlow conceded 43 times and kept four clean sheets. A fee in the region of £6 million would be required for his signature.
Sheffield United center-back Kean Bryan is on Watford’s radar. The 24-year-old has impressed in his 11 Premier League appearances. He would bring Watford further defensive depth, and the Hornets would give him a top-flight lifeline.
Watford Want More Wide Threat
The Hornets want to sign 26-year-old, versatile right-winger, Jacob Murphy. He has played in both an advanced and more deep-lying right-midfield position for Steve Bruce this season, and he can play on the left if necessary. Now, Football Insider reports he is the Hornets’ outright number one target. Two goals and two assists in 20 appearances this season is an underwhelming return, but his versatility and improving form must be remembered.
Elsewhere, as relayed by SempreInter, a recent print edition of Tuttosport, which cited a report from the Daily Mail, claims that Ashley Young and Watford might be set for a summer reunion. It has been long known that Young wants to finish his career with the club he started it with.
With his Inter Milan contract running down and Watford set for promotion, now is the perfect time for the 35-year-old to make the move. Apart from his connection to Vicarage Road, Young will be a similar signing to Murphy in the sense they are both attacking-minded players who can perform well in defence when called upon (which is frequently). Also versatile, Young prefers to line up on the left side of the pitch.
Twenty-five-year-old Honduran right-winger Alberth Elis has taken Liga NOS by storm. Elis is sought after by a host of clubs, including Watford. The former MLS star has picked up 11 goal contributions in 25 appearances for Boavista. His traits are similar to Ismaila Sarr‘s, with both pacey wingers.
Watford Transfer Focusing on Attacking Firepower
With FC Nantes facing relegation out of Ligue 1, an exodus of players is to be expected. One of their bright spots this season has been Randal Kolo Muani. The 22-year-old striker has five goals and six assists across all competitions. But, with Watford already having both Joao Pedro and Cucho Hernandez, it would not be surprising for the Hornets to seek an older, more proven, known-to-be-prolific striker ahead of their likely Premier League return – rather than gambling on Kolo Muani.
Many more names are sure to be thrown around in the coming months. But for now, with the exception of Ashley Young and Karl Darlow, it seems as if Watford are opting for a more youthful, rather than experienced and proven, approach. Of course, rumours are just rumours. Only time will tell what comes to fruition.