Watford have moved to increase their senior goalkeeping resources by signing Luke Simpson on what we understand is a short-term deal.
Simpson, 21, has been involved with Harry Kewell’s Under-21 side for several months and played against Ipswich Town, Berkhamsted Town and then Millwall on Monday night. He’s also been on the U21 bench a number of times, including at home to Colchester United and away at Nottingham Forest. The former Barnet goalkeeper Chris Haigh was Watford’s substitute keeper at Clarence Park in the Professional Development League U21 clash with the Lions.
Simpson, who has played eight league games for Accrington Stanley, has been recruited as cover for Rene Gilmartin who is out until the end of the season with a dislocated knee cap. Simpson is unable to be named in the Premier League squad until it is resubmitted in January and, as he counts as an U21 player, he will not take up one of the 25-man permitted spots in the official list. Gilmartin will be removed from the list and his spot as a home-grown could be taken up by a new outfield player.
Nathan Gartside will remain the third choice keeper until at least January 1 and despite being 17, he may well keep his spot behind Heurelho Gomes and Giedrius Arlauskis and travel to all matches as he is the man in possession of the number three spot. Simpson will, at the very least, help ease the situation that has seen Andrew Thomas and Jamie Lacy named on the bench for the FA Youth Cup match despite being eligible for the U16 side.