Aug 31, 2017

Done Deal: Watford confirm the signing of Marvin Zeegelaar from Sporting Lisbon

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Despite having an extremely productive time in the summer transfer window to date, Watford manager Marco Silva had been desperately looking to build on his eleven signings late on deadline day.

The Portuguese boss was particularly looking for a left-back and, after seeing a deal for Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs fall short, Silva has managed to secure the signing of Sporting Lisbon’s Marvin Zeegelaar.

Who is Marvin Zeegelaar?

Marco Silva has certainly racked his footballing brains and stretched to the depths of his knowledge to secure Watford’s deadline day arrivals of goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis and now Marvin Zeegelaar.

The 27-year-old Dutchman has enjoyed a fairly exotic playing career since impressively coming through the Ajax youth system at 16 years of age, having spells in Spain, Turkey, Portugal and even England.

This came during the 2013 season when he had a highly unsuccessful loan spell at Blackpool, who were playing in the Championship at the time, and across the course of the season he only played two games.

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Fortunately for Watford fans his career has taken off since the last time he played in England, earning a move to Portuguese top-flight side Rio Ave in 2014 and putting in some consistent displays during his two years there – so much so that it earnt him a move to esteemed outfit Sporting Lisbon a season later.

Somewhat ironically Zeegelaar joined Sporting just months after Silva left for fellow Primeira Liga side Estoril, but it’s clear to see that the 27-year-old left a lasting impression on the current Watford manager.

What is the deal?

Watford’s official website confirmed the completion of the deal shortly after 6pm on Thursday evening, with Zeegelaar arriving at the club on a four-year deal in a deal believed – by The Sun – to cost £3 million.

Where would Zeegelaar fit in at Vicarage Road?

Silva has been adamant at the need to strengthen his options on the left side of defence and, to his credit, he’s kept true to his word and captured the signing of out-and-out Dutch left-back Zeegelaar.

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The fact that the duo have the previous link of Sporting Lisbon should allow him to settle into Vicarage Road well, and Watford fans will hope he can adapt to the Premier League’s tempo fast and kick-on.

The Dutchman is very comfortable on the ball, having a tendency to push forward down the left-hand side when given licence to roam, and he’s managed to develop himself into a strong dribbler as well.

Jose Holebas has been utilised as Watford’s first-choice left-back for the beginning of the season yet it remains to be seen as to whether Zeegelaar will come into the squad as competition or as a back-up.

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