Monday, February 6, 2023

Watford Seek To Cover An Important Base With This Signing: A Shrewd Move By Silva?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

With most Premier League clubs commencing their business quite early in the pre-transfer period, it was time Watford got into the groove as well. The Hornets have had a season to forget in the Premier League last season as they ended up surviving the relegation by just six points. It ended with their former manager, Walter Mazzarri, leaving the helm with a thumping home defeat on the last day of the season.

The Italian boss had a pretty solid start to the season with the average squad at his disposal but following the winter transfer window, which was supposed to improve their displays given the number of quality reinforcements the manager brought in, the Hornets faltered. Their average backline, which was further weakened by injuries, was showing its signs and if not for their goalie, Heurelho Gomes, they would have surely squeezed into the bottom three.

Although the Brazilian shot-stopper did concede 64 goals throughout the season, he did produce some stupendous saves occasionally to keep the side in the competition. Watford ended up letting in 68 goals in the league, and no side other than Swansea City has conceded more and survived the relegation.

But, no matter how effective Gomes has been, the Brazilian has faced no competition to keep him on the toes. At 36, he still possesses some fantastic reflexes and the ability for gigantic throws, but Watford’s second-choice Pantilimon has rarely been called upon to prove his worth except for the FA Cup and EFL Cups.

The Romanian international had arrived only in 2015 and has failed to impress. If reports are to be believed, the 30-year-old is already linked with a move away from Vicarage Road wth Belgian side Anderlecht interested in getting him.

Hence, Watford’s reported signing of Austria Under-21 goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann on a three-year deal makes a lot of sense on Marco Silva’s part. Stoke City had been loaning him off to numerous clubs since he broke into the first team in 2014.

The 22-year-old has proved his mettle at numerous small clubs like fifth-tier Wrexham AFC, Scottish Premiership side Ross County FC and third-tier English side Bury FC before Watford realised his potential.

His impressive displays have even earned him a call-up to Austria’s senior side in the last two international breaks. An academy product of Austrian side SV Weikersdorf, Bachmann had come the ranks of FC Admira Wacker Mödling, SK Rapid Wien, AKA Steiermark – Sturm Graz and AKA Austria Wien before Stoke City picked him up back in 2011 as a 16-year-old.

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