New arrival Edo Kayembe is delighted with his move to the Hornets, explaining that he was “honoured” to receive the call to move to Vicarage Road.
The 23-year-old, born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, joined from Belgian side KAS Eupen earlier this month to become the Golden Boys’ third signing of the winter transfer window.
Although Kayembe has only been at the club for a short period of time, he has enjoyed getting used to his new surroundings and is looking forward to helping the team achieve their goals as they head into the second half of the 2021/22 Premier League campaign.
“I’m liking everything at the moment,” said Kayembe. “It’s been a few days, but I’m liking the structure at the club, the people and the organisation is good. For me, it is something that makes me very happy to be here.
“I know Watford is a club [that is] ready. When they called me I was actually very honoured because when a club with the tradition calls you, you are happy. The motivation is to come here and help the team to reach their goals for this season and hopefully beyond.”
Despite his tender years the midfielder is already considered to be among the more experienced players within the Watford camp following his extensive journey from his native DR Congo to Belgium.
“There have been changes, but I’m very happy with what has happened,” he explained.
“I’m grateful to be in Europe, so I have to thank Anderlecht who gave me the first chance to move to Belgium from my country that was Congo.
“Also, I have to thank Eupen because they made a professional player out of me, and I have to thank Watford for this opportunity. What I can do now is be available for the club, try to do my best and always work hard every day to help the club.”
It was at Anderlecht where Kayembe enjoyed playing in one of Europe’s top competitions, the UEFA Europa League, and he believes those two appearances in late 2018 significantly aided his development.
“When I played in the Europa League, I didn’t have a lot of experience, so I have to thank the managers who gave me the chance and trusted me to be on the pitch,” he said.
“A key factor was playing alongside some players who had a lot of experience which helped me so much in the development. Playing in the Europa League at the age of 20 was a privilege because it is such an important competition.”
Now at Watford, the DR Congo international admits he has long been an avid follower of Premier League football, especially when the Golden Boys are playing.
He said: “I love English football, so I have been following the team.
“The last games I followed were against Manchester United and Chelsea because I’m passionate about English football. When I discovered about the interest of the club, I was following the games. The fact that they called me made me very happy.”
On the pitch the energetic, left-footed operator doesn’t feel attached to just one position, instead explaining that he can feature in multiple roles.
This versatility has led to a newfound goalscoring prowess, with Kayembe notching his career’s first four goals from a variety of midfield positions this season.
“I’m a flexible player so I can play in many different positions,” he said.
“In the past I have played more towards the edge of the pitch, but I’m flexible when it comes to positions. I can play wherever I’m asked to.
“When I played for Anderlecht I was playing more like a defensive midfielder, but at Eupen they gave me the chance to move to an offensive position with a new manager.
“That’s what I mean when I say I’m flexible because I can play as a number six or in a more offensive position. When this happened at Eupen I scored my first four goals, so I have to thank the manager for giving me the chance to be more offensive.”
Kayembe added that he knew Christian Kabasele from his time in Belgium and that the defender, alongside the rest of the team, has played a huge role in helping him settle in Hertfordshire.
“I know Christian because he used to play for Genk, so I know him as a player,” he said.
“I have followed the league, so I know the players. Of course, he is helping me, but he is not the only one: [Ken] Sema and Moussa Sissoko have both helped me to understand the environment and settle in.”
The new arrival knows how important the supporters are going to be as the Golden Boys look to pick up points in their next few matches.
“When I watch the games, I can see that the fans give a lot of motivation and give the extra bit to the environment,” Kayembe added.
“I know that because of the motivation, they always try to push the team and stay behind the team, so passion is something more for me.”