“The Summer Is Always Better”
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“We are extremely happy with our squad,” remarked Watford Technical Director Filippo Giraldi as he spoke to the watfordfc.com cameras this week.
As we approach the halfway point of this January transfer window, the Hornets are yet to add to their ranks. Giraldi outlined a focus on restoring key injured players to the squad, and said the club would not be making additions for the sake of a fresh face.
The Italian, who has worked as a lead component in the Hornets' recruitment team since the Pozzo family took ownership of the club in 2012, gave a refreshing view on what he billed the 'emergency market'.
“Usually we use the January transfer window to correct what is wrong, or if there has been issues like injury,” he explained.
“We have done that in the past with Niang and Cleverley, there was an opportunity and we took the opportunity - as we will do this year if the right opportunity comes. But, we are extremely happy with our squad. We think we have a very talented and well-balanced squad.”
Injuries, short and long-term, have prevented Head Coach Marco Silva from working with the club's full arsenal of talent, as the Hornets sit in a respectable 10th place in the Premier League after 22 games – their best position at this stage of a season since promotion.
Watford fans have seen key summer signings Will Hughes and Nathaniel Chalobah in exciting but all too brief glimpses. The impressive Kiko Femenía has missed the last five. Miguel Britos hasn’t been seen in a Watford shirt since November, Younès Kaboul longer still.
It is hoped the return of these and other important first-team players will play a crucial role in the second half of the season.
“We need to recover some of the injured players,“ Giraldi admitted.
“If you look at some of the injured players, we are without Chalobah, Hughes, Kaboul, Britos, Kiko, and Cathcart until now, very important players for us that have not been part of this group and when they were playing this team were top five, top six in the table.
“Our most important thing now is to recover the injured players and if the right opportunity comes, as always, we will take it.
“It is also very important to keep our best players, and we will try to do everything to keep all of them. We want to become a stronger team every year, so our intention is to make this team better every time.”
Giraldi noted the club's preference for signing players between seasons without ruling out bringing in players this month who could improve the squad.
“The summer window is more important than January,” he said.
“They [new players] have more time, they have the whole of pre-season to adapt to the team and the ideas of the coach so it's always a better time to have players coming in.
“It's good for me to explain how we are working. We never stop. Our club is always ready to sign players. We are in daily discussion with Scott [Duxbury] and Gino [Pozzo] to see what we can do.
“Watford will never stop trying to sign top and talented players. We have already signed players who are doing very well in their development that are not necessarily under the lights.
“We have a striker who is the most sensational player, in the Segunda Division in Spain. He's doing very well, a lot of big clubs have already approached us. He will have his development there and when he is ready he will come to Watford.
“We have plenty of contact, and we have agreed in principle a deal with some players but we like to keep that for ourselves for the moment. Once the time will be ready, you will know.”