New defenders key to Watford’s survival hopes

Watford are one of three teams promoted for the 2015/2016 season. However, as with any newly promoted team, a lot of work is needed in order to remain in the top flight.

It is not a surprise then, that Watford have made ten new signings, to further strengthen their bid to stay in the Premier League. The team has put a particularly strong focus on defensive players with four of the new signings being defenders. We take a closer look at these defensive additions.

Sebastian Prödl

The 28-year-old Austrian made the move to Watford from Werder Bremen, having signed on a five-year contract. The central defender played for the Bundesliga team for seven years and can also fill in as a fullback, providing Quique Flores a versatile option.

Prödl has experience in European competition, having appeared in both the Champions League and Europa League. Such experience will help when competing with the high quality teams of the Premier League and if Watford have hopes of a midtable finish.

Unfortunately however, Prödl’s career has been riddled with injuries. Such injury proneness could make it difficult for the Austrian to make much of an impact for the team.

Miguel Britos

Britos, another central defender, signed from Italian club Napoli on a three-year deal with the Hornets. The Uruguayan defender made over 100 appearances for the Serie A team in his four years there.

While at Napoli, the 30-year-old helped earned a second-place Serie A finish, as well as winning two Coppa Italia titles and a Super Cup.

Unlike Prödl however, Britos has not made any international appearances and is prone to making errors. As a newly promoted team, Watford cannot afford any errors but it will be interesting to see Britos making the step up from Serie A to the Premier League.

Jose Holebas

The Greek left-back signed on a three-year-deal from Italian side Roma last month.

Previously having played for Olympiakos, although he had difficulty finding his form, he eventually went on to win two league titles with the Greek team.

The attack-minded left-back has also made a total of 27 appearances for his country, including Greece’s participation in Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, while he also has Champions League experience with both Olympiakos and Roma.

Holebas has however, drawn criticism in the past for his attacking tendency. Such a tendency was considered “hazardous” to his national team’s style of play.

Such a style of play can be beneficial though – the player can bring the ball forward, providing an attacking outlet while he has also shown capabilities to score goals like these for Roma. It will certainly be intriguing to see how the 31-year-old fares for the Hornets.

Allan Nyom

On the other side of Watford’s potential defensive line is Allan Nyom. He joined the Hornets on a four-year deal, after six years with La Liga side, Granada. The 27-year-old full-back made 200 appearances with the club, after being sent on loan from Udinese.

Granada rose from Segunda Division B to La Liga in Nyom’s years there and this experience could help motivate the right-back to perform similarly at Watford, in order to maintain their position in the Premier League.

The Cameroonian also represented his country during the 2014 World Cup, playing against Mexico and Brazil which will no doubt help him when it comes to squaring off against some of the best wide players in the Premier League.

What do these signings mean for Watford?

In an age where newly promoted teams rarely strengthen in defense to the extent that Watford have, these new signings add some much needed options in defense – something that the Hornets have lacked in recent years.

They also bring some much needed experience to the team, something which is very important for a newly promoted side, especially if they want to remain in the Premier League.

They might take time to adjust but if they perform like they can, Watford can be very confident about their survival hopes with this revamped defensive back four.