VitalWatford take a look at what the Hornets look like doing in January with the transfer window just three days away
Sean Dyche has already been extremely busy in the summer Transfer Window and indeed the following loan window, but what business if any will Watford do in January?
Dyche has said there will be money, not necessarily a finite amount, but by no means an infinite amount either.
The Watford Observer has reported that the board are concerned at the squad size, and when such a volume of players have been signed this season, it’s easy to see their point.
First and foremost, there is the matter of Michael Kightly, Nyron Nosworthy and Craig Beattie’s loan deals to sort out.
Nosworthy and Kightly have both played a huge part in the ‘Orns recent run of one defeat in 10 games. Beattie on the other hand has had less of an impact, making just one start and three substitute appearances to date.
We’ve been spoilt somewhat in enjoying the ability of someone like Kightly who is clearly far too good for this division, and with Wolves struggling you would expect that he will return to the fold at Molineux in early January.
That will open up a slot for a winger. Mark Yeates has been playing well enough to keep Craig Forsyth out the matchday squad altogether. Whether or not Kightly returning to the Midlands will see the Scot automatically promoted back into the first-team remains to be seen, but with development games at a premium, Forsyth may not even be match fit.
We do need a winger, permanently. It’s great to get a player of Kightly’s calibre on loan, but realistically we need three first-team wingers in the squad.
In Nosworthy’s case, there’s a good chance that the Sunderland man could remain at Vicarage Road on-loan for the rest of the season.
Even with Martin O’Neill arriving on Wearside, Nosworthy seems unlikely to feature in the first-team at the Stadium of Light. He is however believed the be on the thick end of £20,000 a week and subsequently way out of the Hornet’s financial league.
Presumably we are only paying a fraction of the defender’s wages and if we could extend his existing deal here, we would be well set with Martin Taylor also back from injury sooner or later.
Finally, Beattie, a man who has failed to regularly make the matchday squad. Surely the Scot will return to Swansea City. With four other strikers on the books and only three matchday slots available, the former Celtic man looks quite a way out of the picture.
In terms of players who are or have been out on loan, Josh Walker looks likely to leave Vicarage Road sooner or later.
With a number of central midfielders out of the picture due to the form of Jonathan Hogg – namely Ross Jenkins and John Eustace, Walker is fourth-choice in the ball-winning midfielder pecking order. Whether we pay up his contract or loan him out once more seems to be the only question.
Michael Bryan has been on loan with Bradford City and inactive since the first weekend of November now. At 21, Bryan will have to make a first-team impact very soon if he is going to prolong his career in WD18.
That he can’t get in a struggling Bradford City side says all that you need to know. Like Walker, he will surely leave one way or another in January.
I would suggest that we need another attack-minded central midfielder to rival Prince Buaben, however, with Stephen McGinn not a million miles off of his return it would make sense just to get someone else in on loan in the mean time.
Finally, there’s Tom James, the young left-back signed from the non-leagues over the summer. We haven’t heard much about the boy nor seen anything of him, which presumably indicates that with his contract expiring in January that he will be off as well.In Summary –
Out: Kightly & Beattie (End of loan); James (End of contract) & Bryan & Walker (Loan/Termination of contract).
In: Nosworthy (Loan extension?); a winger & a playmaker (loan).