Unsettled: Liverpool starlet Marko Grujic is one of 10 new faces at Watford
As they gear up to face Lyon, Monaco and PSG in a pre-season tournament at Vicarage road, Watford have confirmed that they have completed their transfer business for the season, barring any major incident or enforced change. Manager Nigel Pearson spoke this morning about being keen to ensure the squad was settled and preparing for a tough campaign ahead, and despite a slow start to proceedings, he seems content with the business that has been done.
Watford Transfers 2017/18 - Summer
Spent: 70m | Received: £54m
Gabriel Jesus - Manchester City - Loan
Almost a no-brainer to return: 'GJ33', as he has been nicknamed by Watford fans, scored 11 goals in 17 games for the club in the second half of last season, almost single-handedly securing their spot in the Premiership for this season. Manchester City seem content with the gametime and development he is being afforded at Watford, and so that loan deal was extended.
Joaquin Correa - Sevilla - Loan
Another returnee from last season, Correa contributed 5 goals and 2 assists in 16 starts last season, joining Gabriel Jesus as one of the signings of the season. He is unhappy at Sevilla, and this loan is seen by all parties as a likely stepping stone into a permanent deal next summer.
Marko Grujic - Liverpool - Loan (£61k/month)
Grujic officially signed for Liverpool back in 2014, but spent a season on loan at former club Red Star, before being sent to Newcastle last season, where he played 32 league games, contributing 4 goals and 7 assists. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp doesn't feel the Serbian is ready for first-team football, and with stiff competition in the Watford midfield, the 21 year old has a point to prove this season if he hopes to return to Liverpool and compete.
Mario Balotelli - OGC Nice - Free
Perhaps the riskiest move of the summer here: Balotelli is a known quantity to fans in England, but Watford seem to be banking on the fact that when he's good, he's REALLY good. If Balotelli can avoid some of the off-field antics that seem to hinder him wherever he goes, this could prove to be the signing of the season. If not, there's a lot of wages being paid, for potentially not a lot of output.
Kai Ritchie - Gala Fairydean - Free
The 17-year old Scot only popped onto Watford's radar in March of last year, but has bags and bags of potential. Like Josh Kellogg (below), Ritchie is not likely to see first-team action for a few years yet, but when he does, he could be very, very special.
Josh Kellogg - West Brom - £650k
Another youngster with bags of potential, the 16 year old central midfielder has shown flashes of brilliance last season in the Under 18 leagues, but, like Kai Ritchie, it could be some time before we see him take to the pitch in first-team action.
Kieran Tierney - Celtic - £7.5m
Watford have been crying out for some quality at the full-back positions, and 20 year old Kieran Tierney could well be the answer they need at left-back. Quick, and with a solid eye for a pass, he was in scintillating form last season, and Watford fans will hope that carries into the Premiership. There's a lot of pressure on the Scot, but if he delivers, he could develop into something really special.
Michael Keane - Burnley - £8.5m
A first team regular for relegated Burnley last season, Keane was one of the few positives in that campaign. Along with fellow ex-united centre back Chris Smalling (below), Keane is one half of what could be a long-term solution to the defensive troubles which plagued Watford last season, particularly their difficulty in dealing with crosses into the box. At only 24, Keane still has a few good seasons in him, and Watford could be the place he really comes good on his promise.
Chris Smalling - Manchester United - £9.5m
Transfer listed by Manchester United having started just 25 matches last season, 27 year old Smalling will be looking to reaffirm his credentials as an international-level centre back this season. Capped 39 times for England, Smalling brings international experience to what has at times looked like a very young backline (Pepe being the exception, obviously), and that experience could be vital moving forwards.
Miguel Almiron - Atlanta United - £10.75m
23 year old Paraguayan midfielder Almiron is not a name that many people would have linked with Watford, but the technically gifted midfielder lit up the MLS last year with his vision and work rate, and could bring some much-needed technicality to the Watford midfield this season if he can break into the first team.
Georginio Wijnaldum - Liverpool - £15m
It was something of a surprise to see Wijnaldum transfer-listed by Jurgen Klopp this summer, but Liverpool's loss may well be Watford's gain. The 26 year old didn't have a bad season last year, notching 5 goals and 4 assists in 27 starts, but clearly that wasn't enough for him to retain a spot in the Liverpool squad this year. Internationally experienced, and technically very adept, Wijnaldum could have a massive year for Watford.
Mitchell Weiser - Hertha - £17m
Once one of Bayern Munich's great hopes, 23 year old Rightback Weiser became a little complacent with his lot; a lot of players do when they net a lucrative contract in their early twenties. When Bayern decided not to renew his contract, Weiser moved to Hertha, where he hit a rich vein of good form, scoring twice and creating 6 goals in 31 league starts, while also maintaining a decent defensive record. Along with Keiran Tierney (above), Weiser represents what could be the final piece of the defensive jigsaw which is likely to be the basis of Watford's season.
Isaac Success - Udinese - £12m
Daryl Janmaat - Leicester - £10m (Rising to £15.5m)
Mario Suarez - Valencia - £9.5m
Tommie Hoban - Derby - £6m (Rising to £8.5m)
Sebastian Prödl - Crystal Palace - £5.5m (Rising to £8.25m)
Valon Behrami - Celtic - £5m
Nordin Amrabat - Hull - £3m
Steven Berghuis - LOSC - £2.4m
Younes Kaboul - Chievo - £225k