With the hours ticking away in the January transfer window, many Hornets supporters are hoping for more arrivals, especially after their rivals have been bolstered by new additions. Burnley signed Wout Weghorst, while Newcastle United brought in Bruno Guimaraes, Chris Wood, Kieran Trippier, among others. The Hornets have transferred in four players earlier this month, but none of them are the same calibre of player as the names listed above. Thus, on deadline day, high-profile moves are wanted by the Watford faithful, but unfortunately, such action is unlikely.
Watford Cutting Numbers on Deadline Day
Watford With Simple Deadline Day Plan
As outlined by Adam Leventhal of The Athletic, Watford’s focus on deadline day is to cut down the squad numbers to solidify a 25-man squad while minimising excess wages. Whether this is via loans or permanent departures remains to be seen. In the words of Leventhal, “The deal of the effing century” must show itself to the Watford hierarchy if any more additions are to be made.
Leventhal then explained Watford and Barnsley are nearing a deal to send 22-year-old midfielder Domingos Quina on loan to the Championship side for the rest of the season following the former Portuguese U21 international only finding the pitch four times while on loan to Fulham.
Did the Hornets Address What They Needed Most?
Without any clean sheets this season, the Hornets needed to bolster their defensive. They brought in centre-back Hassane Kamara from OGC Nice, centre-back Samir from Udinese, and defensive-midfielder Edo Kayembe from the KAS Eupen. In their initial couple of matches for Watford, they appear to be upgrades on the previous choices, though they are not head-over-heels better, thus far, either. Watford should have sought to bring in another centre-back, while Kayembe’s role this season is still unclear with Imran Louza returning from AFCON and the potential formation change under the new management of Roy Hodgson.
The relegation battlers also signed Samuel Kalu from Bordeaux. Even though their attacking ranks were not the most necessary to revamp, he provides an attacking option with lots of potential and raw talent, something that could pay dividends this season or in years to come. Also, considering his transfer fee is mainly incentive-based with a minimal initial cost, financially speaking, the business was shrewd.
Overall, however, the Hornets did not seem to bring in the sheer quality that some other relegation rivals did. The new signings are what they needed, but they needed them many months ago. It might be too little too late. It is in the hands of Roy Hodgson now to make the most of what he has, a group that has potential, but lacks new “match-winning stars.”