Since taking over Watford in 2012 the Pozzos have brought 37 players to the club either on permanent transfers or loans, prior to this summer.  

Several players have impressed and remained with the Hornets. But for every Almen Abdi and Fernando Forestieri there has been a Jean-Alain Fanchone and Steve Leo Beleck.

And the whereabouts of some of those players remain unknown. For example the question ‘where is Iriney?’ has been asked on a number of occasions this season.

Here we try to shed some light on what has happened to the Pozzo signings whose futures now lie away from Vicarage Road.

Manuel Almunia 

Was the Hornets’ first-choice goalkeeper for the Pozzos’ first two seasons and made 81 appearances before leaving in the summer.

The ex-Arsenal (pictured) man was set to sign with Italian club Cagliari in August but was forced to retire from football after it was discovered during his medical with the Italian club that he had a heart condition. 

Watford Observer: Lucas Neill's only Watford outing was as a 84th minute substitute against Barnsley. Picture: Dave Peters.

Lucas Neill 

Joined Watford last February until the end of the season but his time at Vicarage Road was short-lived, as he played just six minutes before he was loaned to Doncaster Rovers.

His Watford contract expired in the summer and the 37-year-old defender is understood to be searching for another English club and is hoping to earn a place in Australia’s 2015 Asia Cup squad.

Marco Cassetti

Watford Observer:

A cult figure during his two seasons at Watford. The former Italy international left the Hornets in the summer and hasn’t found a new team. However, the 36-year-old has been training with former club Roma this season. 


Watford Observer: Neuton. Picture: Holly Cant

The Brazilian centre-back played just nine times for the Hornets before he returned to parent club Udinese at the end of the 2012/13 season.

He failed to make an appearance for the Little Zebras during the previous campaign and was loaned to Brazilian side Chapecoense in June. 

He made nine appearances before heading back to Italy, where he has not featured for the Italian club this season. 

Fitz Hall

Watford Observer: Fitz Hall. Picture: Holly Cant

The commanding centre-back excelled in the 22 games he was fit enough to play during the Pozzos’ first season in charge.

He continued to train with the Hornets and earned several short-term deals with the Golden Boys throughout the 2013/14 campaign but injuries again limited him to just six games.

He left Watford in the summer and is currently playing as a striker for Waltham Sunday League club Percival.

He netted a hat-trick on his debut for the side. He is also co-founder of communication company, Astar Advertising. 

Jean-Alain Fanchone

Watford Observer: Picture: Holly Cant

If you weren’t able to travel to Blackburn Rovers during the 2012/13 season then you won't have seen him play in a Hornets shirt.

The wing-back’s loan from Udinese was cancelled in January 2013 and he spent the remainder of that season, and the 2013/14 campaign, on loan at French club Nimes Olympique.

He left Udinese in the summer and signed a three-year contract with Romanian side FC Petrolul Ploiesti.

Geoffrey Mujangi Bia

Watford Observer: Bia scores as Watford draw to Brighton

Another August 2012 loan signing but the winger was a little different as he joined from Belgian side Standard Liege – and not Udinese.

Made just five appearances before he returned to Liege at the end of that season and has impressed since.

He struck 14 goals in 41 games during last season and has four in 12 matches this term. 

Alexander Merkel Watford Observer: Merkel in action for Watford FC against Blackburn Rovers

Made 11 appearances and scored one goal for Watford after joining on loan in January.

Udinese loaned him out again this summer, this time to Grasshopper Club Zurich, where he has made 11 appearances.

Samba Diakite

Watford Observer: Picture: Dave Peters

Struggled to impress in his six matches for the Hornets during the second half of last season.

This summer the Queens Park Rangers midfielder joined Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad in July on a season-long loan. 


Watford Observer: Iriney

Signed a two-year deal with Watford in July 2013 and made 17 appearances for the Hornets before joining Real Mallorca on loan in January 2014. He played 11 times for the Spanish side.

The Watford Observer recently confirmed his contract was cancelled by mutual consent in the summer but that has not been confirmed by the club.

Iriney has been back in Brazil since leaving Vicarage Road and is an investor in a hotel in his hometown of Humaita, Brazil. 

The midfielder is currently without a professional club but is playing for Atletico de Triana, a futsal club in Seville. 

Steve Leo Beleck Watford Observer: Steve Leo Beleck grabbed a hat-trick at London Colney today. Picture: Holly Cant

Didn’t impress in his eight appearances at Vicarage Road during the 2012/13 campaign and he was subsequently loaned to Stevenage, where he failed to score in 13 games.

The striker was loaned to Belgian club RAEC Mons in the summer of 2013 and found the net once in seven outings.

He signed with Italian side Fiorentina in the summer, as part of another transfer deal, and is currently on loan at Serie B outfit Crotone, where he has scored once in eight run-outs. 

Alex Geijo

Watford Observer: Alex Geijo during his debut against Middlesbrough. Picture: Holly Cant

During the 2012/13 season, he played a total of 20 games for the Golden Boys and scored twice. He was a victim of the success of Troy Deeney, Matej Vydra and Fernando Forestieri.

The 32-year-old spent the 2013/14 campaign on loan at RCD Mallorca and netted just once in 27 matches, although only five of those were starts.

Currently back at Udinese but has yet to feature for the Little Zebras this season. 

Javier Acuna 

Watford Observer: Javier Acuna challenges for the ball during tonight's win. Picture: Action Images

Signed for Udinese from Real Madrid B before being loaned to Watford in the summer of 2013.

The Paraguayan made 12 appearances for the Golden Boys last season, scoring once, before spending the second half of the campaign on loan at Spanish club Osasuna where he played 16 times and struck three goals.

Departed from Vicarage Road in the summer and signed a permanent deal with Club Olimpia back in his homeland. 

Chu-Young Park

Watford Observer: Park Chu-Young came on as a late substitute against Brighton & Hove Albion. Picture: Action Images

Joined on loan from Arsenal in January of last season but made just two appearances in an injury-hit spell with the Hornets.

Went on to represent South Korea at the 2014 World Cup but was released by the Gunners in the summer.

He signed with Saudi Arabian club Al Shabab on a one-year deal earlier this month. 

Cristian Battocchio: Regular whilst on loan at Serie B strugglers Virtus Entella.

Essaid Belkalem: Ten outings for loan club Trabzonspor in Turkey. 

Hector Bellerin: Made Champions League and Premier League debuts this season at Arsenal. 

Matthew Briggs: Had five appearances since joining Millwall. 

Reece Brown: Become a regular since signing for League One Barnsley this summer.

Nathaniel Chalobah: Made just two sub appearances on loan at Burnley this season. 

Davide Faraoni: Contract was transferred back to Udinese but hasn’t played this season.

Josh McEachran: Just the three sub outings on loan at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem.

Mathias Ranegie: No goals in six appearances on loan at Millwall.

Albert Riera: Hasn’t featured for Udinese due to injury.   

George Thorne: Serious injury means he hasn’t played since joining Derby County permanently. 

Gary Woods: Has featured 12 times for Leyton Orient.