Ben Wilmot is looking forward to applying all he learnt in Italy with Watford this season.

The young defender was sent out on loan to Udinese for the second half of the last campaign and played against some difficult Italian opposition.

In his time there, the 19-year-old played against some of Serie A's most potent opposition, making five appearances, including a debut away against Juventus, an away draw at the San Siro against AC Milan and a home draw against Inter.

Speaking to the club website, he said he feels he learnt a lot from the experience.

"My debut couldn't have been much harder really," he said.

"But it was an unbelievable experience and that was one of the reasons I went out there to play in games like that.

"I might not ever get the chance to play out there again, so it was definitely worth while.

"It was such a daunting ground, it was full, the fans were so loud, it was different to England and that experience puts me in good stead for any of the grounds that we're going to go to this season."

A year prior to his game against Juventus, Wilmot was playing in a game for Stevenage, where he progressed through the youth academy into the first-team.

While his progress from League Two to Turin may seem rapid, the player thinks things are moving at the right speed for him.

"It's weird, but it's happening at the rate I want it to happen," he said.

"From an external point of view, it seems to be like a whirlwind of a journey, but for me it's going at the pace that I want it to go.

"I want to be playing in these big games and I want to play as much as I can this season. I had a really good time at Stevenage and that put me in a good place to come here, but I want to keep kicking on and moving forwards.

"It was the reason I wanted to go out there - to play in those sorts of stadiums in front of that number of people, so I could've played easier games, but I would rather play the big teams and challenge myself, knowing now that I've played in those big games is good.

During his time in Italy, Wilmot relied on the help of one or two familiar faces in the shape of Stefano Okaka and Marvin Zeegelaar, who were both also on loan at Udinese from the Hornets.

Furthermore, a contingent of Dutch players also ensured the defender was able to make the most of his time away from Vicarage Road, while regular contact with Watford team-mates ensured he was able to stay up-to-date with goings on back home.

"Stef and Marv were there - they were the only two that I knew," said Wilmot.

"But it was a lot better to have both of them there than no one, so it was a lot easier for me.

"There was about half of them who could speak good English so it wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but there was a lad called William Troost-Ekong, he helped me a lot and Bram Nuytinck.

"There was a big group of Dutch lads and their English was really good, so I just hung around with them.

"I spoke to a few people a few times, Nate [Chalobah] a few times and I spoke on face time and said hello to a few of the lads. Because it wasn't that long and I knew I was coming back, it was okay."

For now, Wilmot is pleased to be back with Watford and is aiming to get as much playing time under his belt as possible, either at centre-back or in a holding midfield role.

However, he has not ruled out the possibility of heading out on another loan spell, should it be required, and said he would happily return to Serie A to develop himself further, following the pre-season.

"It feels really good to be back and I'm happy to see all the lads and to get cracking with this season," he said.

"They should be two good games and it's a good test while we're out here before we go back.

"I want to play as much football as I can. I would love it if I could play a lot here, but if I need to play elsewhere to get the games that I need then I'll do it, but my aim is to play here as much as I can.

"Everything's very tactical over there, it's a lot slower over there, less demanding. It's like a game of chess at times, but it's something else that I've now got and I would jump at the opportunity to play out there again.

"But it puts me in good stead. If ever we have a managerial change or any tactics or anything like that, I've experienced more than just one style of play.

"I'm comfortable in both positions, if I had to choose it would probably be centre half, but I am comfortable slotting in to holding midfield, or whatever, but if I had to pinpoint a position for myself, it would be centre half."