Michel Ngonge believes that there are a number of budding talents playing in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League that Watford should consider looking at to revamp each department of their struggling squad.

Ngonge, who lives in Brussels, has an extensive knowledge of Belgian football and recommended five profiles to the club, including his 20-year old son Cyril, who has found first-team chances hard to come by at parent club FC Bruges and during his loan at PSV Eindhoven in recent times.

In the last five years Watford have occasionally exploited the Belgian market, capturing the likes Obi Oulare from Club Bruges, Christian Kabasele from Genk, Dodi Lukebakio from Charleroi in 2015, 2016 and 2018 respectively.

Of the three only Kabasele has made the desired impact in Hertfordshire, yet Ngonge has no doubt that he would get the consensus of opinion among many of his compatriots on midfielder Aster Vranckx, strikers Emmanuel Dennis and Jeremy Doku, goalkeeper Sofiane Bouzian and his son Cyril, a winger.

“Although I live in Belgium, I watch more the Premier League than the Belgian league. The best players in the world play in England, the best agents, the most money, the best surroundings," said Ngonge.

“A year ago I spoke to Watford’s sporting director (Filippo) Giraldi and recommended my son Cyril to him. But he did not seem to warm to the idea because I did not get any feedback.

“As a father I would be proud if Cyril can play in England one day and even more so if that is with Watford because I had a great time at the club.

“Cyril is starting to change and grow as a player. He has a great technical ability, can dribble, scores goals and can use both feet effectively. But he has to work harder and change his work ethic because he is 20 now. Once he puts in the hard work on a daily basis, he can play wherever he wants.

“He has a year contract in Bruges but we don’t want to stay there because barring Anderlecht and Genk no Belgian club gives youngsters a chance, they prefer to play 30-35 year old players here.

“Four clubs have contacted us because they are interested in signing Cyril. Two from the Dutch Eredivisie, one in Ligue 1 and one from Belgium but my dream is to see him in England, at Watford."

When asked whether the son could pick up where his father left off in the year 2000, the 52-year old said: “Yes, because I have no doubt that Cyril has more qualities and is better than his father ever was.

“Other players that I recommend from Belgium? Dennis from Bruges is a good player. He is the one who scored a brace against Real Madrid in the Champions League. He is very fast and reminds me of (Odion) Ighalo although he is better than the Nigerian because he is more agile.

“Jeremy Doku (from Anderlecht) and Aster Vranckx from K.V Mechelen are two very good players that would also do well at Watford.”

Earlier this month Goalkeeper Ben Foster extended his contract that will keep him at the club for another two years but with substitute goalie Heurelho Gomes expected to retire at the end of the season and with reports suggesting Daniel Bachmann could be heading out again as well, Ngonge said Watford should line up a move for K.V Mechelen prodigy goalkeeper Sofiane Bouzian.

The 19-year old is widely regarded as Thibaut Courtois’ heir in his native Belgium and could be Foster’s long-term successor in Watford’s goal.

“Sofiane Bouzian was my player when I was Belgium’s under 16 and under 17 assistant manager," said Ngonge. "He is a very humble and hard-working goalkeeper. His family is also very humble.

“Sofiane has a huge potential and has an outstanding work ethic. He has the right attitude and a great career in front of him.

“So far, he has only played one game in Belgium’s top-flight but he rose to the occasion (kept a clean sheet in the 0-0 against Anderlecht) and did extremely well. He has the potential to follow in Courtois’ footsteps and become Belgium’s nr.1 goalkeeper. He has already proven a lot and if he can get to the next level he will have a great career.

“Now, it only depends on him but he is someone Watford should definitely look at.”

Ngonge believes that chairman Gino Pozzo deserves everybody’s ‘respect’ for transforming Watford from a perennial Championship side to an established Premier League club.

Sacking Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores to appoint the ‘pragmatic’ Nigel Pearson was the best decision the Italian has probably ever made according to Ngonge.

“Gino Pozzo deserves credit, he has done a terrific job at the club," he said. "Watford have come very far under his stewardship. It is a shame that when I was at the club we did not have the chance to have someone like him running the club.

“What impressed me the most is his appointment of Nigel Pearson. The managers that were there before tried to play the ‘Spanish way’, dominate possession…but that did not work because Watford do not have enough quality to build the game and dictate the pace of it. That style of play did not suit Watford at all, they are not on that level yet.

“But Pearson brought order with his pragmatic style, everyone now works for the cause. As a manager you need to be clever and Pearson got the best out of his players, managing to get Watford play to its strengths. He adopted a pragmatic approach and ditched possession play because it left Watford vulnerable (in dispossession) before.

“We shall not forget that Watford are still a small club and they should aspire to do what Wolves and Leicester are doing today. These are great examples to follow.

“These two teams stayed loyal to the English philosophy: running, fierce determination, hard work. Watford should aspire to be like these two teams and not try to emulate Arsenal because they do not have their players.”