First Team 07/08/2019

Official: Welbeck Joins Watford

The Hornets are delighted to confirm the signing of England international forward Danny Welbeck on a free transfer.

The former Manchester United and Arsenal man has agreed a permanent contract with the Hornets and further bolsters Javi Gracia’s squad ahead of the start of the 2019/20 Premier League season.

Welbeck, 28, has scored 16 goals in 42 appearances on the international stage with England, last appearing for the Three Lions last September.

He represented his country at Euro 2012 and World Cup 2014, and was also part of Gareth Southgate’s England squad that reached the semi-finals at last summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Having come through Manchester United’s youth system, Welbeck scored on his league debut as a 17-year-old and went on to play 142 times for the Red Devils, winning the Premier League and two League Cup trophies.

He moved to Arsenal for a reported £16m in 2014 and made 126 outings for the Gunners, including starting the 2017 FA Cup final win over Chelsea, before leaving the Emirates Stadium at the end of last season.

First Team 07/08/2019

Sema: “It Will Be Special To See Him Again”

By Kevin Affleck

Javi Gracia has a talented team of analysts at the club and they've been working away since the fixtures were released and hatching a plan to beat Brighton on Saturday. But if the Head Coach needs a bit of inside information on how Graham Potter, the Seagulls new boss, goes about his business then he can just summon Ken Sema into his office.

The winger played for two-and-a-half seasons under Potter at Östersunds and they teamed up on the thrilling journey that took the unheralded Swedish outfit into the Europa League and peaked with a famous 2-1 win at Arsenal.

“It will be special to see him again” said Sema. “I know him and he knows me well. He's a good coach, a good manager and I enjoyed working with him. We did so well in the Europa League, we won the Swedish Cup and we had some nice moments. It's in the past, though. He's there and I'm here but it's going to be a fun game and special to see him again.”

Potter and Sema neatly brought the curtain down on their time in Sweden last summer, Potter joining Swansea City and Sema penning a five-year deal at Vicarage Road. Potter, 44, moved again this summer to take up the top job at Brighton.

“I spoke to him a bit and he's always asking how I am,” said Sema. “He's like a friend – not just a good coach. Brighton will play good football as he wants to play on the ground and have possession. It will be interesting.”

Sema has put himself in contention to feature against the Seagulls after some strong performances in pre-season. He did a fine job after coming on against Bayer Leverkusen and then got the nod to start against Real Sociedad on Saturday as Roberto Pereyra has only recently returned from an extended summer holiday. Gracia has shown he has no qualms in picking Sema to do a specific job, most notably at the London Stadium in December when he helped keep Felipe Anderson quiet. The 25-year-old also locked down the opposition's right flank away at Everton and then scored one and made another at Bournemouth.

“I feel good and I'm in good shape and I'm looking forward to the start of the league,” said Sema. “It's felt good to play more in pre-season and I feel I'm ready. I always want to play more, always. I've had to work hard, I'll continue to work and then we'll see. Hopefully I will have the chance to play and I will do my best to play more and to play well.”