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Watford midfielder Almen Abdi is set to miss the Hornets' Championship trip to Barnsley
Almen Abdi is set to miss Saturday’s trip to Barnsley with a foot injury and bringing another midfielder to Watford remains a priority for Gianfranco Zola.
Swiss international Abdi has been absent from the Hornets’ last two Championship fixtures and Zola confirmed the 26-year-old has an inflammation under his foot.
While the Watford head coach said the midfielder would be evaluated tomorrow, when asked today if Abdi was likely to feature against the Tykes, Zola added: “We do not know about this weekend yet but I think it is likely he will not play.”
It is no secret Zola wants to bring another midfielder to the club in order to strengthen his side.
Watford have made an attempt to re-sign Nathaniel Chalobah on loan but have so far been unable to agree a deal with Chelsea.
The young midfielder spent last season on loan at Watford and made 45 appearances for the club. His mature displays in the Hornets’ midfield helped Zola’s side reach the Championship Play-Off Final.
Nottingham Forest are reportedly close to completing a deal for Chalobah but
Zola said the 18-year-old wants to return to Vicarage Road.
He said: “Everyone would love to have Chalobah here but it is not going to happen immediately, it is difficult.
“We have a budget and there are financial problems – the boy certainly wants to come over here and we want him here but there are some other issues that have to be agreed.
“But he is keen to come, he would like to come back and of course we would like him back but there are other things that need to be put in place.”
Watford have identified other midfield targets but Zola remained tight-lipped over who he’d like to bring to the club.
Abdi’s injury meant Connor Smith came into the Hornets side against Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday evening.
It was the youngster’s first league start of the campaign and Zola said his squad players are more than capable deputies.
He explained: “Almen’s injury is a shame for us but I do not like moaning about my problems. I have players that I have respect for. They are not regulars but they are players I respect and I am sure they will do a good job until Almen is back or until we find his replacement.”
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