The only surprises in Watford’s Premier League squad are the inclusions of Essaid Belkalem and Lloyd Dyer, though they have named only 24 players.

Both are surplus to requirements at Vicarage Road but will, until January at least, be eligible to play for the Hornets after a frantic deadline day saw the number of non-homegrown players at the club cut to 16.

The case of Dyer is complex. The 32-year-old wideman was reintegrated into the first-team squad during pre-season having ended last season on loan at Birmingham City after former head coach Slavisa Jokanovic stopped him training with the first time. 

He scored a sumptuous chip against SC Verl in the Hornets' pre-season trip to Germany but was left out of the squad for games against Dundee United and Cardiff City before returning for their final friendly against Sevilla.

As Premier League clubs must include eight players who qualify as homegrown or forfeit a space, Dyer has been named in Quique Sanchez Flores' squad.

Centre-back Belkalem spent last season loan at Turkish Super Lig outfit Trabzonspor but returned to Vicarage Road after they turned down the chance to sign to Algerian on a permanent basis.

Signed from JS Kabylie in 2013, the 26-year-old defender made just five Championship starts for the Hornets - the last of which came at Wigan Athletic in March 2014 - before being allowed to move to Turkey on a season-long loan agreement.

Involved fleetingly in pre-season, Belkalem has been out of the first-team picture in the early weeks of the season but as the Hornets can name up to 17 non homegrown players in their Premier League squad, it is logical to name the powerful stopper in case he is required.

Watford’s 24-man squad is: 1. Heurelho Gomes (GK); 2. Allan Nyom; 3. Miguel Britos; 5. Sebastian Prödl; 7. Jose Manuel Jurado; 8. Valon Behrami; 9. Troy Deeney; 13. Rene Gilmartin (GK); 14. Juan Carlos Paredes; 15. Craig Cathcart; 17. Adlene Guedioura; 19. Victor Ibarbo; 20. Steven Berghuis; 21. Ikechi Anya; 22. Almen Abdi; 23. Ben Watson; 24. Odion Ighalo; 25. Jose Holebas; 27. Essaid Belkalem; 28. Connor Smith; 29. Etienne Capoue; 32. Alessandro Diamanti; 33. Lloyd Dyer; 34. Giedrius Arlauskis (GK).

Clubs can name as many players under the age of 21 to supplement the squad. The Golden Boys have 11, these are: 10. Obbi Oulare; 16. Nathan Ake; 26. Bernard Mensah; 30. Jorell Johnson; 31. Tommie Hoban; 35. Josh Doherty; 36. Alex Jakubiak; 37. Alfie Young; 38. Mahlondo Martin; 39. Dennon Lewis; 40. George Byers.

Meanwhile, Sean Murray has not been named as he is on loan at Wigan Athletic until January, while Joel Ekstrand continues rehabilitation from injury and will not be available for consideration until the new year either.

Long-serving defender Lloyd Doyley, currently out of contract at Vicarage Road, is training with the Hornets as he recovers from neck surgery. The Hornets have stated they will discuss the 32-year-old's future when he is fully fit.


The squad cannot be altered until January when clubs can submit a new list for the remainder of the campaign.