The signing of 19-year-old Rocco Vata and his choice to move to Watford rather than any of the long procession of clubs who expressed an interest in the young striker is an endorsement of what the Hornets are pitching to potential new players.

That is the view of head coach Tom Cleverley after he was able to secure the services of the Irish Under-21 international for no more than a compensation figure of around £200,000 to Celtic.

To coin an old phrase, there was a list as long as your arm of top-flight clubs in Italy, Spain, Germany and Belgium that were keen on Vata, as well as others in England.

Celtic also offered the young forward a new contract, so he had an immense number of options available to him.

Therefore, bringing a clearly highly-rated young player to Watford for next to nothing is an indication that what Cleverley is showcasing to potential signings is something they find attractive.

“It’s no secret that there was a lot of interest in Rocco, both in the UK and abroad,” the Watford boss said.

“So we have to be excited because clearly the project we are offering to players is appealing to them.

“Now we can’t disappoint, and he’s also got the challenge to secure his place in the team and fulfil the potential.

“But when you have a player who has a really determined and relentless character, they are the sort of people who generally do fulfil their potential and I see that in Rocco.”

Cleverley stressed that it was the youngster’s attitude and work ethic, as much as his footballing prowess, which drew him to Vata.

“One of the metrics high up on my list for an incoming player would be how is his character, and Rocco is an absolute workaholic,” said the head coach.

“He’s an animal in terms of wanting to improve himself and he is so open to learning.

“He brings sharpness and pace, which is something we have lacked a little bit of in the team, and he is a top finisher.

“I expect him to go straight into the first-team squad, which will push the levels of our other attacking players and challenge them for their spots.

“As a coaching staff, Rocco is a really exciting project for us and I am very pleased we’ve brought him in.”

Cleverley outlined to the Watford Observer earlier in the summer that he will play a formation that moves between 3-4-2-1 and 3-4-1-2 – and Vata can operate in any of the attacking positions.

“In our system he will play as one of the No.10s but he can also do the No.9 role,” said Cleverley.

“He has qualities to run in behind with his sharpness.

“But with the way we’re going to play this season I see him as being one of our attacking No.10s, or inside wingers if that’s what you prefer to call them.”