10/10/2017

Loan Report | Season So Far

Nordin Amrabat

Winger Amrabat may have started the first three games of Watford’s Premier League season, but the Moroccan international moved on loan to La Liga side Leganés on September 1 until the end of the season.

The 30-year-old is yet to start a game for his new club, but he has come off the bench in all four matches since his arrival, including a 2-0 away win at Las Palmas and a 0-0 draw at home to Atletico Madrid. 

Costel Pantilimon

The Romanian goalkeeper departed Vicarage Road at the end of the summer transfer window, joining La Liga side Deportivo La Coruña on a season-long loan deal.

Following his arrival in Spain, Pantilimon has made four appearances in Spain’s top division, making his debut in a 2-1 defeat against Real Betis, and keeping one clean sheet in the home 1-0 win over Deportivo Alaves. 

Obbi Oularé

The 21-year-old returned to Belgium in a season-long loan switch to Royal Antwerp back in July, and he made a bright start to his time back in the Jupiler Pro League.

The centre-forward provided an assist in the 5-3 home defeat to Genk, but after four starts his progress was derailed somewhat by a thigh injury which has kept him out of the past five games. 

Dennon Lewis

Now in the second loan of his fledgling career - following last season's spell at Woking - 20-year-old Lewis has made three starts and a further six appearances from the bench at League 2 side Crawley Town, who are managed by ex-Watford Under-23 Coach Harry Kewell.

Injured against Stevenage in mid-September, the Hornets' Academy graduate missed four games but returned to action in an EFL Trophy tie at Portsmouth last Tuesday and was an unused substitute during Saturday's 1-0 league win at Morecambe.

Mauro Zárate

Having joined the Hornets in January 2017 from Fiorentina, Zárate last week agreed a move to UAE club Al Nasr on loan for the rest of the season.

The Argentine forward will be hoping to make his debut for the Dubai-based side when they line up against Dibba Al Fujairah this Saturday. 

Adalberto Peñaranda

After missing the first six games of the new La Liga season due to injury, Peñaranda finally made his first appearance of the campaign as a 72nd-minute substitute in Malaga's 2-0 away defeat to Sevilla on September 30.

The Venezuelan youngster, who caught the eye at this summer’s Under-20 World Cup as he helped his nation reach the final, which they lost to England, suffered a groin injury following the tournament but is now back involved for the Spanish outfit.

By Tom Scholes

10/10/2017

U23 | “We’ve Got To Pin Teams Back”

Hayden Mullins hopes two of his more experienced players, Nathan Gartside and Alex Jakubiak, will be back soon to help in the quest for some much-needed consistency from his side.
 
Gartside missed yesterday's 2-0 defeat to Charlton with a dead leg and is, according to Mullins, touch-and-go to face Colchester United at Vicarage Road on Monday. Jakubiak has been out for several weeks with an ankle problem but he is at least back running. 
 
“Nathan has been struggling with a thigh tweak,” said Mullins. “Alex is outside running at the minute. He’s still two or three weeks away. Once we get those back – and Connor Stevens – we’ll be up to full capacity.”
 
The Hornets could have done with the nous of two players with plenty of Under-23 football under their belt against Charlton at Greenwich Borough FC yesterday. The Hornets enjoyed three good spells in the match – 10 minutes at the start, either side of half-time and then at the end – but they didn’t take their chances, which fell to Randell Williams, twice, and Dion Pereira.

“If Dion slots that in [just before half-time] then it could be a different game,” said Mullins. 

Pereira had a good chance for the Hornets before the break

By that time Charlton were two goals to the good after they clinically struck twice in the space of six first-half minutes to effectively padlock the three points in the Professional Development League clash.
 
“The goals we gave away were very sloppy,” said Mullins.

“We started okay and pressed and won the ball in good areas, but we got ragged and lost our shape in that middle period of the first-half and lost two goals.

“Towards the end of the first-half we picked up again. We had a chat at half-time and the performance was a lot better in the second. But we’ve got to do that from the off and pin teams back.”
 
Mullins wants to see more of the intensity, ambition and drive they showed in the 2-1 Premier League Cup win over Southampton. That, he feels, is the benchmark.

Howes impressed during his first outing in goal for the Under-23s

“This team showed against Southampton they can do it for 90 minutes and that’s what we’ve got to get back to," he said.

“That’s what I’ll be asking. This is a tough career they are entering. It’s hard physically, mentally, aerobically. It tests everything. You have to deal with a lot of things and you’ve got to show resilience. They showed they can do it against Southampton and they’ve set themselves a standard now. We need to match that in the coming weeks.”
 
One player who could be pleased with his afternoon’s work was Sam Howes. The goalkeeper, signed in the summer after being released by West Ham, played for loan club Hampton & Richmond on Saturday yet was back in-between the sticks for the Hornets yesterday, getting a hand to Charlton’s first goal and making three smart second-half saves.
 
“He’s a good keeper,” said Mullins of the 20-year-old former England youth international. “He’s been on loan at Hampton and that was his first game for us as Nathan is out injured. He did everything we asked of him and he’s a confident keeper. He did well.”