Marco Silva has made quite the impression in the transfer market since arriving from Hull City following the end of last season, making no less than ten additions to their squad in three months.
Young England duo Nathaniel Chalobah and Will Hughes have come in, as have exciting South American’s Richarlison and Andre Carrillo, before the Hornets broke their club record on Burnley forward Andre Gray.
However, one thing that can be guaranteed is that the Portuguese boss won’t be sitting around watching the drama unfold on Thursday, and he will no doubt work until the deadline to make further additions.
The Boot Room takes a look at three potential options for Watford to sign as deadline day looms.
Perhaps the deal most likely to happen before Thursday evening’s deadline is that of Islam Slimani from Premier League rivals Leicester City, with Silva openly admitting he’s a long-term admirer of the forward.
The duo are already familiar after their season spent together at Sporting Lisbon and, talking to the Leicester Mercury last week, he admitted that he’s ‘one player I like’ and one he also knows ‘very well’.
The Telegraph claimed earlier this week that Watford have already commenced the process of enquiring about the Algerian international, who has endured a mixed time since arriving in England.
Despite already adding the attacking prowess of Richarlison and Gray to their ranks this summer there’s no reason why Slimani wouldn’t be a useful addition too, able to settle in to the side quickly due to his existing rapport with Silva and finally have the chance to prove himself in the top-flight.
The only issue would come with Leicester asking for too much, with it unlikely that Watford will break their record fee twice in one summer, but it’s certainly a story worth keeping a close eye on.
Alternatively, Silva could utilise his contacts from his spell at Hull City last season and try and persuade Liverpool outcast Lazar Markovic to Vicarage Road as he looks for strength in depth.
The 23-year-old winger enjoyed a decent loan spell at the KCOM last year, being allowed an attacking sense of freedom and a good run of games under Silva and, according to reports in the Telegraph over the past week, the Portuguese boss is currently engaging in talks about a potential loan move again.
Despite many people having their reservations about Markovic since his breakthrough season at Anfield, the Watford boss has a soft spot for him and can clearly see the benefit of signing him up.
One thing is for sure that he would provide adequate cover for Richarlison and, if given a full campaign in the Premier League as opposed to five months, he could become a very useful asset and prove himself.
After already improving the right-side of his defence following the arrival of Kiko Femenia from Spanish side Alaves, it’s been well-documented that Silva is actively seeking a left-back to complete the jigsaw.
After missing out on Gibbs it’s likely that Silva will be prioritising his left-back search over the upcoming 24 hours and he could do a lot worse than look at up-and-coming Argentinian man Nicolas Tagliafico.
The 24-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Newcastle – as reported by the Chronicle over the past few days – but should Watford show interest they are likely to have a real chance of stealing him.
Tagliafico is the sort of attacking left-back that Silva would love to have at Vicarage Road, and despite only playing in the Argentine domestic league he’s already merited a full international call-up.
Liverpool round up: Jurgen Klopp to step up Shaqiri interest, Reds priced out of Alisson deal
The latest news and gossip surrounding Liverpool
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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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