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Watford target pacey striker and holding midfielder in January transfer window
The Hornets hope to sign another striker and holding midfielder before the transfer window closes at the end of January, the Watford Observer understands.
Watford completed the permanent acquisition of 6ft 5in striker Mathias Ranegie and the loan signing of Alexander Merkel last Friday.
But we understand the Golden Boys want to sign two players who can help fill the voids left by Matej Vydra and Jonathan Hogg, who both left in the summer.
The Hornets want to sign a pacey striker who can play on the shoulder of the last defender and also an ‘enforcer’ midfielder who can break up play.
When asked about the club’s transfer policy this month, head coach Beppe Sannino replied: “Some players are leaving but, before the end of the transfer window, the squad will be complete and we will be able to match other teams in terms of numbers and quality.”
He added: “I don’t know how many [players the club will sign] but in my opinion it is best to have a good squad assembled, although I don’t want to have too many players in the squad because we need to consider a lot of aspects in the Championship.
“So the total number of players shouldn’t be too high. I don’t want to have too many players to train.”
“I have spoken with the club and they know what my ideas are. Some will be leaving and some will be arriving,” Sannino added.
George Thorne impressed in the holding midfield role but the Hornets always expected the player to go back to West Bromwich Albion when his loan expired at the weekend and a return to Vicarage Road appears unlikely.
Merkel, who also had offers from the Bundesliga and German second division before joining Watford, can play in the defensive midfield role but he is more of a creative player and may lack the physique to break up play in the way the Hornets regime want.
Iriney performed well in front of the back three at Bristol City on Saturday but after the game Sannino refused to confirm whether the experienced Brazilian had done enough to hold down the place.
He said: “We will have time to assess the team now. I am happy with Iriney tonight but it is too early to speak about the future.”
The club have tried to play academy graduate Connor Smith as a holding midfielder at times this season but on Wednesday he was loaned out to League One Gillingham until the end of the season.
Sannino said: “I agreed for Connor to go on loan because he needs some minutes. He is a good player and deserves to play. For his development it is very important he plays.”
It has been agreed that Watford striker Javier Acuna will be loaned out to La Liga side Osasuna until the end of the season.
The former Real Madrid B striker joined Watford from Udinese in the summer on a three-year contract and the Hornets hope the player will find some form before rejoining the Golden Boys squad in the summer.
Like Merkel, it was confirmed last Friday that Arsenal wing back Hector Bellerin, who impressed in his first six-match stay at Watford, had joined the Hornets on a temporary deal until the summer.
Bellerin had initially joined the club on an emergency loan at the end of November and the Hornets also confirmed on Monday that Fitz Hall had signed another one-month deal – the third time he has joined the club.
However, we understand that whilst the club will still use the emergency loan system to their advantage, the club ideally want to sign players permanently and then supplement the squad with temporary additions who join for longer periods of time.
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