Tom Dele-Bashiru has been at Watford for just over a month but says he has already noticed the club’s family ethos after making his debut at Vicarage Road on Tuesday night.
“It’s a great stadium, the pitch is amazing and the fans are great as well,” said the 19-year-old. “It’s very welcoming and feels like a family.”
The central midfielder replaced record signing Ismaïla Sarr for the final 20 minutes of Watford’s 3-0 win against Coventry City and almost made an instant impact, latching onto a through pass and shooting narrowly wide.
“I’d like to think I can help the team going forward,” he said. “I like to play between the lines, create chances and make runs in behind. I would like to help the team, but that’s down to the manager, he picks whichever team he thinks is best for each game.
“I’ve learnt to improve the defensive aspect of my game, because I’m more of an attacking player but it’s also good to have the other side of the game. He [Gracia] tells me to understand my positioning as well.”
Dele-Bashiru is a product of Manchester City’s academy and had been at the club since 2005, before the takeover by Sheikh Mansour. In recent years he trained a lot with the first team and learned plenty from Pep Guardiola, who gave him his debut in 2017.
“He was a good mentor, I owe a lot to him and he taught me a lot of things,” said Dele-Bashiru. “At the end of the day I felt like this was the best step for my professional career and I’m happy I made the decision to move. It was the desire to play first team football, I think that’s the next step in my career.
“There is a pathway for young players [at Watford]. If you show that you’re good enough, I think the manager will show faith. Of course, I’d like to break through in the Premier League, but I’ll just take each step as it comes. I’m happy to make my debut in the cup and hopefully I can carry on improving and maybe help eventually in the Premier League as well.”