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Foster, Capoue or Deulofeu - who has been Watford's player of the season?

:Headline: Foster, Capoue or Deulofeu - who has been Watford's player of the season?: ID:398740: from db_amp
The Sports Mole team select who they think has been Watford's best player during a turbulent 2019-20 campaign.

Anything other than relegation would constitute a successful season now for Watford, who endured a torrid start to the campaign but have recovered to give themselves a chance of survival.

The Hornets failed to win any of their opening 11 games, finally ending their long wait by beating fellow strugglers Norwich City in November.

The club's notoriously trigger-happy board were on their third manager by December 6 as they surprisingly drafted in Nigel Pearson to succeed where Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores had failed.

It proved to be an inspired decision too, with Watford beating Manchester United for their second win of the season just before Christmas to kick off a run of 14 points from 18 available.

That form soon tailed off again, but a stunning 3-0 win over the previously unbeaten Liverpool in February provided their highlight of the campaign at the end of February.

Pearson's side now sit 17th in the table, outside the relegation zone on goal difference alone, and here the Sports Mole team select who they believe has been their player of the season.



Barney Corkhill, Editor: Etienne Capoue

This is one of the more difficult decisions from our player of the season countdown as most of the Watford individuals have endured as up-and-down a season as the team in general.

Ben Foster deserves a mention having kept nine clean sheets, but at the same time only two goalkeepers have conceded more in the entire league this season, including eight in one game against Manchester City.

Gerard Deulofeu is also worthy of note having directly contributed to more goals than anyone else in the Watford squad, but for me this award goes to Etienne Capoue in the heart of the midfield.

The Frenchman has made more tackles and almost twice as many interceptions as any other Watford player, while he also ranks in the top three for assists and passes. Of the team's regulars this season he tops the pass success rate too.

Capoue rarely makes the headlines - those are usually reserved for Deulofeu, Ismaila Sarr or Troy Deeney - but his impact on the team should not be overlooked.



Matt Law, Football Editor: Ben Foster

Foster's record this season in terms of clean sheets is superb, keeping nine in 29 Premier League appearances. Considering Watford's problems this term, the 37-year-old's contribution to the cause cannot be downplayed.

Not only has he played in every minute of the team's 2019-20 league season, the goalkeeper has put in a string of impressive performances.

Only Kasper Schmeichel, Alisson Becker, Dean Henderson and Nick Pope have a better clean-sheet record in the Premier League this term, while Foster is sixth on the list when it comes to saves in England's top flight this season.

Ismaila Sarr and Etienne Capoue have both had good seasons for the Hornets, but Foster is the clear winner in my opinion.



Darren Plant, Senior Reporter: Gerard Deulofeu

Despite Ismaila Sarr and Troy Deeney having an argument that they should get the nod, I feel that Gerard Deulofeu has done enough to be named as Watford's player of the season.

While the winger has not contributed at the same rate as his fellow attackers, his four goals and five assists have kept Watford ticking over throughout the campaign.

His notable performances came in wins over Norwich City and Wolverhampton Wanderers, having a hand in two goals, and he has been influential under each of Javi Gracia, Quique Sanchez Flores and Nigel Pearson.



Dan Lewis, Senior Reporter: Ben Foster

Ben Foster can hold his head high on the back of what has been a disappointing campaign for Watford, having done his part to keep the club above the dotted line.

The ever-present has kept an impressive nine clean sheets - a tally only bettered by Kasper Schmeichel, Alisson, Dean Henderson and Nick Pope.

He has made a number of save-of-the-season contenders, including an incredible stop from point-blank range to deny John Fleck in December's 1-1 draw with Sheffield United.



Ben Knapton, Reporter: Ben Foster

Watford have had little in the way of individual brilliance this term, but Ben Foster continues to impress between the sticks at the ripe old age of 37.

Foster has kept a respectable nine clean sheets during the 2019-20 campaign, a feat which only four other goalkeepers can better. Furthermore, without the Englishman's 89 saves Watford would be in a much worse position near the foot of the table.

It remains to be seen whether the Premier League will be able to continue amid the coronavirus pandemic, and while Foster has excelled for Nigel Pearson's side this term, the Hornets still have some serious work to do if they are to maintain their Premier League status.

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