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Watford castaway Steven Berghuis on fire in Netherlands with Feyenoord

The Dutchman has found his feet at Feyenoord and Watford might wish they gave him a chance.

Mathew Nash

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Photo: Getty Images

In July 2015 Watford beat off competition from all over Europe to sign Steven Berghuis. The attacker arrived from AZ Alkmaar in a deal reported by BBC Sport to be in the region of £4.6 million.

He was Watford’s 10th signing of the 2015 summer and that depth of competition stifled the Dutchman’s progress. Berghuis simply never got a good run of games at Watford. He featured in just nine Premier League matches for the Hornets, failing to score a single goal.

(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores suggested Berghuis’ training performances were behind his struggles. He was quoted by the Watford Observer as stating:

“Maybe some players in training are thinking that it is very easy to make Watford’s list. Maybe that is because we are humble team.

“But it is very difficult to choose every player because everyone wants to be in the in the first XI and the 18.

“So when a player is not on the list they need to think about what we need if they want to go on the list.”

Berghuis could not find a way into the team with Flores not playing a system that suited him out wide. In terms of playing as a striker, the Dutch talent was never going to budge Troy Deeney or Odion Ighalo from their lofty perches during that campaign.

Flores was not a fan, and his replacement Walter Mazzarri had a similar viewpoint. Berghuis left for Feyenoord on loan the following summer, with Watford fans never seeing the best of the Dutchman.

ALMELO, NETHERLANDS – SEPTEMBER 09: Steven Berghuis of Feyenoord celebrates scoring his teams first goal of the game during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Heracles Almelo and Feyenoord Rotterdam held at Polman Stadion on September 9, 2017 in Almelo, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Now Watford must be wishing they still had the player on their books. Berghuis has been on fire for Feyenoord this season. He has been the star at Rotterdam throughout 2017-18. The 26-year-old has scored 17 goals this season in 35 games. Berghuis has established himself as a regular at Feyenoord after joining permanently in the summer. His form in Rotterdam has even seen him earn international caps for the Netherlands.

Watford have had a good season in the Premier League, despite the wobble after Marco Silva’s near-switch to Everton. However, it is fair to wonder how good Berghuis could have been at Watford if given the chance to thrive in the first-team.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Previously spent five years writing for HITC Sport. Everton fan for my sins.

Everton

Marco Silva should aim for Christian Kabasele reunion at Everton

The Belgian defender would be an astute addition for the Toffees.

Max Cohen

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Christian Kabasele
Photo: Getty Images

Everton are still without a signing this transfer window, but the side requires strengthening, nonetheless, especially in the centre-back position.

Marco Silva should target Christian Kabasele to bolster his defensive options, a player he knows well from his time managing at Watford.

Kabasele began his career in Belgium and enjoyed success at Genk before moving to Vicarage Road in the summer of 2016.

The centre-half has been capped once by Belgium, as he made the Euro 2016 squad and was cut at the last moment in the Red Devils’ World Cup 2018 team.

His international involvement and the fact he was even being considered in the star-studded Belgium set-up is a measure of his talent.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

At Watford, the defender bagged four goals in 44 appearances, illustrating his threat from set pieces.

He was also the most consistent performer at the back for the Hornets, eliciting praise from the Watford support.

Everton fans in particular will know the danger the Belgian poses, as Kabasele flicked home a powerful header at Goodison Park during a league meeting in November 2017.

Marco Silva knows the defender well, as he played in every league match when Silva was the manager, starting all but one.

And the Portuguese has praised the Belgian in the past, hailing his performance when talking with the Hertfordshire Mercury in 2017, after a 3-0 win at St. James’ Park.

“Kabasele was brilliant. He had a fantastic game. He improves every day. He had a very good game with and without the ball and even with offensive set-pieces he has improved.”

As Everton supporters wait for their first signing of the summer, the club would do well to target Christian Kabasele, a proven Premier League centre-back who is a favourite of the Toffees boss.

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Everton

Signing Richarlison would be a real coup for Marco Silva and Everton

The 21-year-old forward had a fantastic start to Premier League life playing under Marco Silva.

Liam Thomas

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Richarlison
Photo: Getty Images

Watford‘s talented Brazilian youngster Richarlison has been identified by new Everton boss Marco Silva as the man to lead his attack next season.

The Portuguese boss believes the 21-year-old would jump at the chance to be reunited with him on Merseyside, according to TeamTalk.

Silva has yet to make a signing since becoming the new Toffees boss earlier this summer. However, now the World Cup is finished he is looking to make a storm in the transfer window.

Requiring his former player Richarlison’s signature would be a real coup for Silva, considering the Brazilian’s age and undeniable talent.

Richarlison impressed playing under Silva at the start of last season, with many touting the 21-year-old to make a big money move away from Watford this summer.

However, after Silva parted ways with the Hornets, Richarlison’s form dipped and the pacey, silky Ronaldo-esque striker seemed to lose his way.

Nevertheless, being reunited with his old boss at Goodison Park seems to be the next logical step to take for the young Brazilian to realise the talent he possesses.

The fact Richarlison showed glimpses of what he could become last season, should be more than enough for Everton fans to get very excited.

It’s still unclear how much Silva and Everton would have to fork out to require the young forward’s signature. However, there’s undoubtedly a profit to be made for the Toffees if Richarlison becomes the player everyone believes he can.

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Watford

Watford should end their interest in Sunderland outcast Jack Rodwell

The former Sunderland midfielder is reportedly training with the Hornets.

Max Cohen

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Jack Rodwell
Photo: Getty Images

Jack Rodwell is reportedly on trial with Watford during their pre-season training camp in Austria, according to Sky Sports.

However, Watford should end their interest in the Sunderland outcast as he has not played competitive football since September and the club is already well-stocked in the midfield department.

The ex-Manchester City and Everton central midfielder had an embarrassingly public falling out at the Stadium of Light, as Rodwell was frozen out of the first team for almost all of last season.

The 27-year-old was once one of the most promising prospects in English football, but a 2012 big-money move to City resulted in only 25 first team appearances over two years.

After  a transfer to Sunderland, his fortunes did not improve and Rodwell was on the losing side for much of his matches in the Northeast.

As he barely featured for the Black Cats during their relegation campaign in the Championship last year, it came as a surprise that he is currently on trial with Premier League outfit Watford.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Although he would be available on a relatively low-risk free transfer this summer, there is no need for the Hornets to be targeting Rodwell.

As noted by the Watford Observer, the club’s midfield is already full of talent that many would agree are easily better than Rodwell, especially when considering his lack of first team action.

Watford possess the likes of Nathaniel Chalobah, Etienne Capoue, Will Hughes, Tom Cleverley, and Abdoulaye Doucoure in the centre of midfield— it is unclear where Rodwell would fit in if he was signed.

Jack Rodwell has barely played professional football in over a year, and considering Watford’s wealth of options in his favoured position, the Premier League club has no reason to pursue the signing of the free agent.

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