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Done Deal: Watford confirm signing of Orestis Karnezis from Udinese on season-long loan

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Marco Silva’s summer of recruitment in his first transfer window as manager of Watford has continued onto deadline day as the arrival of Udinese goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis was confirmed.

After already bringing the likes of Nathaniel Chalobah, Richarlison, Andre Gray and Will Hughes to the club in the past few months, the Hornets have decided to strengthen their goalkeeping options.

Who is Orestis Karnezis?

Don’t worry Watford fans, we’ve got you covered.

The experienced 32-year-old goalkeeper spent the first six years of his career at Greek club Panathinaikos, finally being awarded a regular first-team role in his fourth year there in 2011.

Two impressive seasons in his native Greece, where he was named Greek Goalkeeper of the Year for the 2011-2012 season, coincided with his debut international call-up for a friendly clash against Belgium.

Since then he hasn’t looked back in terms of the Greek national side, and after missing out on the 2012 European Championship squad he’s been their first-choice number one, making 42 appearances on the international stage over the past six years and making it into their 2014 World Cup squad.

Back on a domestic level – after an unsuccessful season at Spanish side Granada – he secured a switch to Serie A and to Udinese, and since then he hasn’t looked back with over 100 appearances in Italy.

What is the deal?

According to Watford’s official club website, Karnezis completed the required paperwork whilst undergoing international duties with Greece and he will join up with the Hornets on a season-long loan when back.

What will his role be at Vicarage Road?

Despite only being signed on a season-long loan, it is understood that Watford have brought the Udinese goalkeeper in to provide some healthy competition for Heurelho Gomes’ number one spot.

The 32-year-old still has remarkable reflexes in between the sticks considering he’s coming towards the end section of his career, and his speed at getting back on his feet after going down is still very good.

He’s also made a bit of a name for himself in Italy as being a leader from the back, not afraid to communicate with his back-line when needed, and given the chance he could keep Watford in-line.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

English Premier League

Liverpool round up: Jurgen Klopp to step up Shaqiri interest, Reds priced out of Alisson deal

The latest news and gossip surrounding Liverpool

Jamie Watts

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Photo: Getty Images

Shaqiri move on hold

Liverpool will step up their pursuit of Stoke City maestro Xherdan Shaqiri when he returns from the World Cup with Switzerland, after receiving early encouragement in sorting a deal, according to reports from the Mirror.

Shaqiri is said to be keen on a move to Merseyside, and a deal is more than likely to materialise, with Liverpool unlikely to find discrepancies over the reported fee of £12 million for the recently relegated star.

The 26-year-old is not considered as an alternative to Nabil Fekir, after a deal for the Lyon forward collapsed last week (BBC Sport) and the club are considering revisiting negotiations once the player returns from international duties.

Photo: Getty Images

Allison off the table

Liverpool are unlikely to make an approach for Roma goalkeeper Alisson, having been put off by Brazilian international’s reported £80 million valuation, according to Sky Sports.

The Reds have been linked with Alisson consistently throughout the January window, and it was thought they would go big for his services this summer. However, it appears Roma are in no need to sell and will require big money to part ways with the 25-year-old.

Jurgen Klopp is said to be considering moving for Chelsea shot-stopper Thibaut Courtois – as he enters the final year of his deal – but the Blues would likely demand a big fee also, as Liverpool having backed themselves with their goalkeeper situation, following Lloris Karius’ nightmare final.

Photo: Getty Images

Origi eyes return

Divock Origi has suggested a return to Anfield is best for his development and is eyeing a place in the first-team squad after a successful pre-season, according to the Liverpool Echo.

The 23-year-old had been loaned to Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg, but has suffered a relatively meagre campaign, netting just seven goals in 36 appearances, as the team flirted with relegation from the German top-tier.

He will now return to Melwood next month, but whether Klopp has plans for him or not remains to be seen.

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English Premier League

Newcastle should forget Rondon and give Mitrovic another shot

Rafa Benitez is looking to secure a striker this summer, but should Newcastle put more faith in returning loanee?

Jamie Watts

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Newcastle United are reportedly in the market for new forwards this summer, with Rafa Benitez identifying the Magpies’ attacking output as a key weakness last term, despite their impressive 10th place finish.

The Spaniard is allegedly keen on Venezuela international Salomon Rondon and could offer him a route back into the Premier League, from the recently relegated West Brom, according to the Northern Echo.

However, the 28-year-old may not be the best option to spearhead the side at St James’ Park.

Rondon has failed to bag more than 10 goals in a domestic season since arriving from Zenit St Petersburg, while his 28 strikes in 120 games makes for pretty poor reading. It goes without saying stats are not everything, but Newcastle will need a reliable scorer to ensure safety, and perhaps he is not worth the risk.

Photo: Getty Images

Strangely, Benitez seems reluctant to recall former fan favourite Aleksandar Mitrovic despite his recent resurgence, and is pursuing other targets that employ a similar game to the Serbian.

On loan in the Championship last term Mitrovic regained his confidence and eye for goal, and he was pivotal in Fulham’s  push for promotion, netting an impressive 12 goals in 11 games for the Cottagers in a period he described as “the best four months of my career”.

The former Anderlecht man seems to have curbed his disciplinary issues and simplified his game up top, with his link-up play representing some of the finest in world football last term. And the time could be perfect for his return to Tyneside.

Photo: Getty Images

It is evident from rumours surrounding Rondon and Sporting Lisbon talisman Bas Dost (the Sun), that Benitez is actively seeking a physical linchpin to orchestrate play in the final third and Mitrovic could be his best option.

Newcastle are not famed for their spending in transfer markets and they have a ready-made solution returning to the club imminently. Benitez should reevaluate his current pursuits and give Mitrovic one last chance. On last season’s evidence, the results could be brilliant.

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English Premier League

Cenk Tosun could become an elite striker under Marco Silva next term

Everton’s star talisman could benefit massively from Marco Silva’s regime at Goodison Park.

Jamie Watts

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Everton‘s star striker Cenk Tosun recently vowed to reach new levels and is convinced he can be even better next season, after impressing in his debut campaign in a shackled Toffees side, in quotes via the official club website.

And the Turkish international will be thrilled by the appointment of Marco Silva, as he will likely be spearheading a far more progressive and attacking team next term.

The highly-rated forward netted an impressive five goals in only 12 starts for Sam Allardyce’s side, after joining from Turkish giants Besiktas in the winter window and helping Everton to reach a comfortable eighth-place finish in the process.

Photo: Getty Images

Known for his clinical edge in front of goal, the Turk did not disappoint, boasting an impressive 42 per cent accuracy rating for shots-on-target, bettering the likes of Tottenham‘s Harry Kane on 41 per cent.

However, his output was limited by Allardyce’s pragmatic style, with the striker often feeding on scraps in attacking areas, and he undoubtedly has higher levels to hit if Silva can accommodate the 27-year-old properly and surround him with like-minded attacking players.

The recent names circulating in the Everton rumour mill certainly suggest Tosun’s supply line will be richer after the summer, with the likes of Sporting Lisbon’s Gelson Martins and Bas Dost being touted as potential arrivals (A Bola).

Photo: Getty Images

The new Everton manager is sure to see Tosun as a vital member of his squad going forward, as the club aim to see results for their £27 million investment. While owner Farhad Moshiri’s ambitions of European football at Goodison Park dovetail with the Turkish international’s Champions League pedigree.

Considering the numbers Tosun managed under Allardyce, there is no telling how many goals he could bag under the tutelage of Silva in an attack-minded outfit. And many could be surprised at his impact next season.

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