New Watford head coach Claudio Ranieri is perhaps most famous for winning the Premier League with 5000/1 underdogs Leicester City back in 2016.

While that feat was no doubt just shy of miraculous, it is his most recent exploits with Sampdoria that may well have led to his appointment at Vicarage Road.

For as wonderful as winning the Premier League would be, Watford's attentions at the moment have to be focused firmly on remaining in the division if they have any hope of making progress as a club.

The parallels between Ranieri's arrival at Sampdoria and his arrival at Watford are pretty clear.

The Tinkerman joined the Serie A side during the October international break in 2019, with the team struggling at the bottom of the table.

Then manager Eusebio Di Francesco left by mutual consent, after losing six of the opening seven games, paving the way for Ranieri to arrive.

While the Hornets aren't rock bottom, recent performances have suggested that they might not be far off if they continue playing as they have been and Ranieri has been brought in to supply some much-needed experience and organisation.

This was exactly his remit at Sampdoria, who at the time were described as "lacking self-belief and a sense of direction as well as identity on the pitch" - claims that could be very fairly made about the current crop of Watford players.

Prior to his appointment, Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero asked Francesco Totti for advice on who to replace Di Francesco, with the Roma legend describing Ranieri as a "beautiful Ferrari" having played under him during the manager's first spell in the Italian capital.

It was against Roma he started life with the Blucerchiati and he earned a hard-fought 0-0 draw.

Results like that against bigger sides will be needed if he is to get off to a strong start at Watford, with Liverpool and Everton his first two games in charge, shortly followed by Southampton, Arsenal, Manchester United, Leicester, Chelsea and Man City.

His early performances at Sampdoria were focused on establishing a solid defensive unit, with the goalless draw against Roma only their second clean sheet of the season up to that point.

The Hornets are yet to go a game without conceding, so a similar approach is needed to help reverse the "negative trend" that worried the board enough that they opted to sack Xisco Munoz.

The 2019-20 Serie A season finished with Sampdoria sitting in 15th place, nine points clear of the drop zone, giving them a solid foundation upon which to build.

The season after, he showed his potential for progression, and guided his team to ninth with a campaign in which they beat would-be champions Inter, Champions League qualifying Atalanta away from home and held AC Milan to a draw at the San Siro.

While this short period of Ranieri's long and established career is not likely to have been the only factor that led the Watford board to select him as the man responsible for steering the club away from an impending crisis, it is a snapshot of what he is capable of achieving, away from his triumph at Leicester.

It is exactly this kind of story he will first have to write at Watford before they can begin to dream of him penning another Premier League fairytale.