Thursday, February 2, 2023

What Will This Madrid Man Add To Mazzarri’s Side At Watford?

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Aakarsh Bommakanti
Was diving around lush green grass not so long ago but my keyboard is all I have now. An avid observer of detail in sports with a passion to make myself heard. Can find me playing on a field if not in front of my screen.

Walter Mazzarri’s new Premier League adventure has not gotten off to a bright start as his Watford side have taken just the one point from the first two fixtures of the new season of the Premier League. Diego Costa and Michy Batshuayi scored within 7 minutes to give Chelsea all three points at the weekend after Etienne Capoue gave them the lead inside the 10th minute for the second game running. The defensive frailties that saw the Hornets give away two quick goals has seen the Italian manager scoop into the transfer market for additions and it is now understood that he is keen on adding to his back four before the deadline day.

Reports today have linked Watford with a move for former Liverpool loanee Javier Manquillo. The Spaniard spent a year at Anfield under Brendan Rodgers on loan from Atletico Madrid a couple of years ago but was not impressive enough to secure a permanent switch. However, he may be heading back to England this summer with David Moyes’ Sunderland also keen on his signature before deadline day. So what will Manquillo add to Mazzarri’s squad this summer?

The 22-year old started his career at Madrid playing at the Bernabeu for 3 years when he was 10 but he switched to Atletico Madrid’s B side back in 2007 gaining promotion into the senior side 4 years later at the age of 17. However, he made just 4 appearances at the Vicente Calderon and was loaned to Liverpool and then to Marseille in the last couple of years. Though his first loan stint to England was not successful, his time at Marseille was a more fruitful one as he managed to cement a place in the side as a right-back and made 37 appearances in all competitions. However, he is said to be up for grabs this season with Marseille not really interested in a permanent switch and Mazzarri is now keen to add him to his defense.

WOKING, ENGLAND - JULY 10: Walter Mazzarri, the Watford manager looks on during the pre season friendly match between Woking and Watford at The Laithwaite Community Stadium on July 10, 2016 in Woking, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
WOKING, ENGLAND – JULY 10: Walter Mazzarri, the Watford manager looks on during the pre season friendly match between Woking and Watford at The Laithwaite Community Stadium on July 10, 2016 in Woking, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

A right back by trait, Manquillo is an exceptional passer of the ball and has a passing percentage that is very good for a defender. He is also strong for his age and is adept at keeping the ball even under pressure while his understanding of the game lets him stay ahead of his opponents on most occasions. He is a disciplined no-nonsense defender who will keep his flank away from danger but like many players his age, he lacks the self-confidence and patience that shows in his game. He is not commanding enough for a defender and though he will learn that with time, he can be a liability against top class attackers.

Having played for his national side at every youth level, Manquillo has gathered great experience for his age and is a potentially top class talent. He has not been able to settle at a club to prove himself and he will hope that Mazzari can provide him with enough game time to meet his potential. It will be interesting to see which of the two Premier League clubs will make a move for the 22-year old this summer but if Watford can add him to his squad, he can easily be an impact player for years to come.

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