Thursday, April 9

How Watford could line up next season

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Sports Mole looks at how Watford could line up at the start of the 2020-21 campaign.

There is still no guarantee that the 2019-20 Premier League season will be completed, but there is a hope that the top flight will be able to resume at some point in the coming months.

Watford would be more than happy to accept their current position in the table, though, as they occupy 16th, only outside of the relegation zone on goal difference.

It has been a tough campaign for the Hornets, but Nigel Pearson's work since arriving as head coach has been impressive, and they recently became the first side to beat Liverpool in the Premier League this season.

Watford will be hoping that they will remain in the top flight for next season regardless of what happens in the coming months, and the club will then turn their attentions to the 2020-21 season.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how the Hertfordshire side could line up next term.

There is a general acceptable that Watford seriously underperformed in the first half of the campaign considering the strength of their squad. Since taking charge in December, Pearson has only lost six of his 15 matches at the helm, recording five wins in the process.

On paper, the Hornets should not be sitting at the wrong end of the table, and it would not be a surprise if the majority of their current XI started next season in the team.

Indeed, Ben Foster and three of the back four could remain unchanged, but Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne is available on a free transfer this summer and could be an option for the Hornets at right-back.

Etienne Capoue should again line up in central midfield, but there could be a new partner for the Frenchman as Besiktas's Dorukhan Tokoz has been strongly linked with a move to Vicarage Road.

The 23-year-old has missed a lot of football this season with a knee problem but reports in Turkey have claimed that Watford are battling Lazio for the midfielder's signature.

The Hornets will do well to keep hold of Abdoulaye Doucoure this summer, although talk of a potential switch to Tottenham Hotspur has quietened, and the club are not under pressure to sell as the 27-year-old is on a contract until the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

Gerard Deulofeu has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury but will be back next term, and Watford have two extremely exciting wingers with Ismaila Sarr lining up on the opposite side.

Sarr has provided five goals and four assists in 19 appearances at club level this season. In truth, the 22-year-old might eventually outgrow Watford, but there seems little chance of the Senegal international leaving this summer as he only arrived in August 2019.

It would not be a surprise to see Watford attempt to sign another striker this summer, but Troy Deeney remains a hugely important figure. The 31-year-old has also chipped in with six Premier League goals this season, meanwhile, and will again lead the team's attack during the 2020-21 campaign.

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