It wasn’t logical. It wasn’t fair. And it wasn’t justified. But for more than two years new Watford signing Miguel Layun was blamed by fans for everything that went wrong at his former club.

During his first two-and-a-half years at Mexico’s biggest team, Club America, he became the supporters’ scapegoat and was – along with his relations – targeted both on and off the pitch.

The personal campaign had little sense but seemingly plenty of spite and vindictiveness.

The 26-year-old was blamed for the team’s shortcomings even when he wasn’t playing. He was cautious in what he said to the press. He felt unable to go out for a meal in a restaurant. And he stopped his family and then girlfriend wearing their Club America Layun shirts. His life was severely compromised.

Layun told me last week that those first two-and-a-half years at Las Águilas (The Eagles) will undoubtedly be the most testing of his career.

But he believes they made him stronger, more confident and able to handle the rigours of life in the Championship.

And he hopes Hornets’ fans will take him to their heart – unlike those during his first two seasons with Club America.

“After I arrived at America we had bad moments during the season and people started searching for someone who was responsible. That was me. I don’t know why but they said ‘everything is Layun’s fault’,” he explained.

“It was really bad. I asked my wife and my family not to wear my shirt at the stadium. If they did people would say something to them or throw something at them. It was very hard and I got upset and angry.

“I started working with a psychologist to clear everything from my mind. I learned how to dream and to achieve those dreams.

"So when I had the chance to come to Watford I said I would accept the challenge. I want to do good things with the team and become even stronger as a person and a player.”

Eventually fans at Club America dropped their hostility. Layun’s performances forced them to do so.

And in 2013 the wing-back scored the winning penalty in a shoot-out to make the team Mexican champions.

“I want people to see if they work, dream and believe in yourself you can achieve great things,” he said.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Layun said one of his earliest aims is to win the confidence of Watford supporters – even in the toughest conditions.

It was certainly an-eye opener during his debut when he faced the pitiless winter weather in the less than balmy Huddersfield.

Layun said: “The weather conditions were pretty hard. It was too windy. There was snow. Everything was new to me. In Mexico we’re just not used to that. But if I had played in an easy game it wouldn’t have been good because I need to get used to the real Championship.

“Getting on the pitch with just one week’s training was pretty exciting to me. It means the club has the confidence in me and the things I do. I need to get used to the weather and the style of the Championship because it is very intense. The only way I can do that is by playing games.”

Off the pitch it seems Layun has quickly settled. He has been joined in England by his wife, although she will return to Mexico in two-and-a-half months to give birth to their son.

Layun speaks good English as he demonstrated throughout our engaging conversation. He is instantly likeable, seems humble yet self-assured and answered every question honestly.

On the pitch Layun is demonstrating his versatility. He made his home debut against Charlton Athletic in the unfamiliar role of central midfield on Saturday and produced an industrious performance.

The Vicarage Road faithful were impressed. But Mexico’s manager Miguel Herrera isn’t. He has called Layun’s move to Watford a mistake. “It really isn’t a good decision,” he has said.

Watford Observer: Miguel Layun

But the Mexican international is in no doubt he has made the right choice.

“In Mexico there were many teams linked with me,” he said. “There was Besiktas in Turkey and Inter Milan and Cagliari in Italy.

“So I was supposed to have a lot of chances to come to Europe. But the only opportunity I had on my hands was Watford.

“There are moments when you just have to decide and if you take too long those moments disappear.

“I didn’t want to miss this chance. So I took it. I know now I am here that Watford is a great football club. So I am happy with my decision.”

Layun’s move from Mexico to Watford came via Spanish side Granada. The wideman joined the fellow Pozzo-owed club in December and it was then announced he would spend the remainder of this season on loan with the Hornets.

However, when the deal was completed, the Golden Boys confirmed Layun had signed a four-and-a-half year permanent contract.

“It was explained to me that they would buy me for Granada but I would be here at Watford on loan,” he said.

“After I arrived here in England they asked me if it would be a problem to sign permanently. I told them no because I have settled here and I want to get promotion.”

But before he completed the move he sought advice from international colleagues Javier Hernandez and Giovani Dos Santos. Both have played in the Premier League, with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.

“I spoke with Giovani but more with Javier,” Layun said. “I asked Chicharito (Hernandez) about England and what it was like. He told me very good things.

“He said it was very hard and tough, everything I saw on my debut were the same things he told me. But after I spoke to him I got very excited to play in England.”

Layun’s ambition is to help Watford reach the Premier League but his desire to play in a top flight European division is nothing new.

In the summer of 2009 he joined Italian club Atlanta – then competing in Serie A – from Veracruz.

He became the first Mexican to play in the division but made just two appearances for the club. He returned to his homeland with Club America, initially on loan, six months later. The move was made permanent the following summer.

Watford Observer: Miguel Layun 
Holly Cant

Despite his short-lived career in Italy, Layun does not regret signing with Atlanta. He explained: “Going to Italy was very hard. I was 21 and didn’t have the experience I have now. Things at that moment at Atlanta weren’t too good. We lost the first four games and then the coach was sacked.

“Things became very hard for everyone and I decided to move back to Mexico because I wanted to play in the World Cup in 2010.”

He continued: “The only things you have when you retire are the things you have achieved and how you have impressed people.

“I don’t just want rare achievements. I want to play as well as I can and give everything I can in every game. I want people to see me play and believe they have a chance to become a footballer.

“When I was in Italy people looked at me and asked ‘Who is Miguel Layun? Why is he playing in Serie A?’ “I am pleased to have my name in the statistics as the first Mexican player (in Serie A) but it doesn’t change anything to me. I always want to be better. I want to leave a good impression.”

Layun ultimately failed to make the Mexican World Cup squad in 2010. However, four years later he achieved his goal.

He was part of the Mexico side which impressed at last summer’s tournament in Brazil. Layun played in all four of his country’s matches before they were knocked out by Holland in the last 16.

“One of the greatest feelings I’ve had was in Brazil,” Layun said. “The World Cup is the big dream for every footballer.

“So to play there against the best players was unbelievable. It made me feel that I can play against the best players in the world every weekend.”

One word that keeps cropping up in conversation with Layun is “dreams”. He held on to them during the worst times at Club America. He learnt that they can be achieved through hard graft and commitment.

Most importantly for Watford supporters he wants to achieve his Premier League dream with the Hornets.

And if he helps the Golden Boys reach the top flight, his wife will be joined by countless Hornets fans in wearing their Layun shirt with pride.

Watford refused to confirm whether they paid a transfer fee to sister-club Granada for Miguel Layun.

The 26-year-old was expected to join the Spanish club and then be loaned to the Hornets but ended up signing a four-and-a-half-year contract with the English side, via Granada, at the start of this month.

The Watford Observer asked the Golden Boys if they paid Granada a transfer fee for the Mexico international and if it was the same sum the Spanish team paid Layun’s former side Club America.

Watford said they were not prepared to discuss transfer deals and the details “will always remain confidential”.