Nordin Amrabat is ready to be pitched straight into the thick of the action on Saturday to help Watford arrest their slump in form.
The 28-year-old completed his medical yesterday and agreed terms on a three-and-a-half-year contract to become Watford’s first signing of the winter window. He trained at the UCL ground in London Colney today, met his teammates and is itching to be pitched into a game with Newcastle United on Saturday that, all of a sudden, has taken on added importance after Watford extended their losing streak to four games.
“I’m excited and really looking forward to playing for Watford,” he said in an interview with Hornets Player. “Hopefully I can be in the squad and I’m ready to play. Hopefully I can play. Hopefully Saturday comes fast, I can get some minutes. Maybe I start, I don’t know. I’m ready and hopefully we are going to beat Newcastle.”
Quique Sanchez Flores likes his new signings, with the exception of Jose Manuel Jurado who came straight from playing competitive football for Spartak Moscow, to undergo an integration process, particularly those who have come from leagues outside of Spain and Italy. Yet Amrabat is game hardened and played for over an hour against Sevilla on Saturday.
“Every player needs time to adapt as we have our rules and our system,” Sanchez Flores said last night. “They need know how we are working but big players adapt really quickly.”
Amrabat said he turned down a move to an unnamed Premier League club in 2014 to sign for Malaga but he wasn’t about to turn this opportunity down after his club accepted a bid of £6.1m for his services.
“It’s a dream to play in the Premier League,” he said. “One year ago I could have joined the Premier League but I choose to sign for Malaga. It’s a big test, it’s a top competition, the best competition because every game is exciting. There is a lot of action and it’s always nice to watch the games.”
Amrabat watched the 3-3 draw between Newcastle and Manchester United last week and the Hornets’ 3-0 win over Liverpool. Sanchez Flores identified Amrabat as a target because of his pace, power and directness so it was a surprise to hear the player say he spoke with the head coach for the first time today.
“I don’t know him really good,” said the player who the head coach sees as playing as a No.9 or No.10. “When I arrive in Spain he wasn’t working there anymore. I spoke with him today for the first time. It was my choice to choose Watford – not because I know him, or speak with him. It’s more about the club and the Premier League. I want to help the team, do my best. We’ll see what I’m going to bring but I hope I can make the team stronger with my qualities. Every day I give 100 per cent and try to make the fans happy.”