Quique Sanchez Flores has confirmed he vetoed the decision to sign Rudy Gestede in the summer, as Watford prepare to face the aerial powerhouse tomorrow.
As we revealed in August, Watford had a bid of £5million turned down by Blackburn Rovers early in the summer but remained confident of getting Gestede, who was extremely keen on a move to Vicarage Road, if they returned with the right money.
Yet Watford never tabled another bid after Sanchez Flores was recruited as head coach, because the Spaniard advised he would not be shaping a side around a big target man.
Our story from August 6
“We were talking about this player,” confirmed Sanchez Flores to WD Sport. “He’s a good, younger player but the style of Gestede is completely different to the style of Watford. The direct part, he is a very good player.”
The last time Watford played at the venue of a Gestede club he scored, heading in the first as Rovers came from two down to draw with the Hornets at Ewood Park in September of last year. He also scored the equaliser in the 3-3 draw at Vicarage Road in March 2014, showing qualities which saw him emerge on the radar of Gino Pozzo.
Gestede has been used as an impact substitute by Remi Garde in his first two matches as manager of Aston Villa, against Manchester City and Everton. Whether he starts or charges off the bench, Miguel Britos will be tasked with picking him up. Even though he admitted “Gestede is a good player”, it’s a job that will suit the Uruguayan down to the ground. He much preferred the physical duel he had with Andy Carroll than the onerous task of tracking the darting, lightning runs of Jamie Vardy.
“Vardy is a good player, he moves a lot and is always running,” Britos said in an interview with the local media yesterday. “Carroll is a good player, very strong but he doesn’t move a lot. It’s more difficult to mark someone like Vardy. Small and quick is difficult for me as I’m taller and a little bit slow.”
Britos is no slouch, though. He’s also not unrealistic. He knows just how important games are against Aston Villa, Norwich and Sunderland before the ominous run of fixtures over the hectic festive period.
“I think we can win [at Villa] and we need to win these next three matches. We need nine points because in December we have difficult games against Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City. If we win this game [on Saturday] we can go into December feeling more positive.”
It is a shame Watford did not push through a deal for Gestede as it would have been interesting to see if The 1881 Movement had come up with a song like this for him…