In the January transfer window, Watford lost long-serving midfielder Etienne Capoue to Villarreal. After trying to source a replacement, Bournemouth’s Dan Gosling has only performed to an adequate standard, the Hornets are close to adding Imran Louza to their midfield.
Watford Find Long-Term Etienne Capoue Replacement
Watford Finalizing Imran Louza Transfer
According to Adam Leventhal of The Athletic, Watford are close to securing the signing of highly-rated French midfielder Imran Louza. Loic Tanzi of RMC Sport suggests the fee is a figure shallowly below £10 million, with the potential for add-ons to take it over that sum.
Imran Louza is Watford’s Successor to Etienne Capoue
The Hornets’ desire to replace Capoue as soon as he left in January was well-documented. Now that they are returning to the top-flight, they have the funds to sign a true long-term starter to fill the gap.
Capoue’s best traits for Watford were his ability to sit behind the backline and transition defensive phases of play into attacking phases. He was Watford’s ‘engine’ following their 2015 promotion, providing enough threat in attack while remaining reliable in defence.
Louza will contribute similarly and has room to improve despite already being top-flight proven. The former France U21 international player broke into the FC Nantes first-team in the 2019/20 campaign. He made 28 appearances in all competitions, scoring four goals and providing three assists in the process.
In the most recent campaign, he was a pivotal part of the French sides survival. The club finished 18th, meaning they escaped automatic relegation, although they had to contend with the play-offs. They emerged victorious in the play-off final, preserving their top-flight status for another year. The 22-year-old played 35 matches, contributing seven goals and three assists in the process.
Louza’s ability to provide attacking threat and dangerous progressive passes is exactly what Watford have missed since Capoue left. The linking from defensive phases of play to attacking spells will be pivotal in the club’s push for survival. As Louza adjusts sitting just in front of the backline like Capoue did, the mould will be completely filled.
Now, it seems Watford have their newest midfield star. With the likes of Will Hughes, Nathaniel Chalobah, Philip Zinckernagel and Tom Cleverley already at Vicarage Road, the Hornets’ midfield unit is starting to look like a real force to be reckoned with in the Premier League.
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