The Premier League continues to inch towards a potential return this summer to conclude the 2019-20 season. But while clubs take part in light training, we continue on with our series transferring one player from each club in the top flight. After voters favored attackers in the opening two entries, a talented centerback won the vote last time out. With the need across Arsenal’s backline that’s no surprise, but will the Gunners have the funds to make moves at that level in whatever the new transfer window looks like?
Up next is 17th place Watford. Currently the Hornets are just out of the relegation zone thanks to a single goal, but are one of three clubs on 27 points. Clearly everyone is looking at Troy Dee..nah, can’t even finish typing that. There is no love lost between these two clubs or with Deeney. So who at the club might provide an valuable option for the Gunners?
Position: Defensive Midfielder
Projected Value: $5 million
Argument For: You’re not going to find Chalobah leading any key statistical charts for Watford at the moment, instead he is a project looking for the right manager. At 25, he isn’t young, but he still has more potential than we’ve seen and he has yet to really settle anywhere. Often being loaned out by Chelsea repeatedly until finally moving to Watford in 2017. He is inexpensive and would likely serve as the backup defensive midfielder for Cup ties or if we are back in the Europa League group stage. It’s a low risk addition if the Gunners find themselves needing a cheap midfielder after a busy summer transfer window.
Position: Left Winger
Projected Value: $22 million
Argument For: Aubameyang is not a left winger, but is often forced to play out there. Martinelli is not a left winger. Bukayo Saka is the only true left winger Arsenal has. And he had to play emergency left back while not even on a senior contract. The point being the Gunners need a left winger. At 26, is Deulofeu (4 goals and 5 assists this season) the answer? While he probably isn’t Arsenal’s top choice, when looking at need and Watford options, he makes a good case. With 127 Premier League matches, 20 goals and 24 assists he would be a great experienced alternative to rotate with Saka who is still quite young. If Watford get relegated he might be available closer to $15m, which would then free up Martinelli to move central as another striker likely exits.
Position: Center Midfielder
Projected Value: $22 million
Argument For: Doucoure is the other end of the midfielder spectrum compared to Chalobah that we looked at earlier. He is more expensive, but has the experience to start immediately (220+ matches in the Premier League and Ligue 1, with 33 goals and 27 assists). Doucoure would offer a solid presence and a more steely figure than Granit Xhaka. In the top three for Watford is progressive passes, creating shot and goal chances, and tackles, providing a valuable utility player.
Position: Left Back
Projected Value: $6 million
Argument For: This past season Arsenal used four different individuals at left back as injuries and exits pushed them to the U23s left winger Saka as the alternate (who played quite well considering). Perhaps with the injury issues to Kolasinac and Tierney, Arsenal should make a small investment in a player like Masina who might be worth while as the club invests heavily elsewhere. He has experience between his short stint at Watford and Serie A and was 2nd in progressive passes per 90 minutes for Watford this season. Worse case scenario if Arteta plays a 4-3-3 Kolasinac or Masina could play as a left midfielder in front of Tierney. This would be a relative safe signing while also covering a gap Arsenal had last season.
Position: Right Winger
Projected Value: $27 million
Argument For: Does Arsenal need to spend a sizable amount this summer on another right winger? No, unless Pepe or Reiss Nelson exit, it’s not a position of considerable need - at least comparably. However, Sarr looks very promising. 21 years old, he netted six goals and provided three assists already in what was his first season in the Premier League. An experienced international with Senegal already (22 caps), Sarr can also play as a central attacker or left winger, which would make him more valuable if Arteta wants to move to a more fluid front line in a 4-3-3.
Which Watford player would you pick?
This poll is closed
I also considered Kiko Femenía as a right back backup instead of Cedric Soares and Christian Kabasele as a cheap depth centerback piece, but ultimately we went with the five above. Honestly, Watford is a fairly old squad with a lot of players that just aren’t worth their cost considering what Arsenal already have. Now leave us your thoughts on which player from Watford might make the best decision and why.