Quique Sanchez Flores has confirmed Nordin Amrabat has the qualities he is looking for in a forward but revealed that the signing of the powerhouse from Malaga will not end the club’s protracted search for a winger.
Sanchez Flores has a long-standing interest in the player, who has played in Spain for the last year, and a deal is close to bring the Holland-born Moroccan international to Vicarage Road. However, the head coach sees him playing as a No.9 or a No.10, meaning the pursuit of a winger continues.
“Amrabat is separate of the winger,” said Sanchez Flores when asked by us this morning. “Amrabat is one thing, a striker, and has the characteristics we are looking for. He can play as first striker or as a winger. The club are considering that Amrabat and a winger are different things.”
Sanchez Flores is sweet on Andros Townsend and says he’s the type of direct and dynamic winger he is after but Daniel Levy is notorious for doing deals at the last minute, so he can extract maximum value for his assets, and that is not the way Watford, under Gino Pozzo and Scott Duxbury, do business. They will not be held to ransom. Townsend, 24, is also thought to favour a loan move, to fulfill his immediate goal of making the Euro 2016 squad, while Watford are seeking players looking at the bigger picture.
Amrabat is 28 and he is certain to sign at least a three-year deal. He was set to play for Malaga against Sevilla tonight in what looked set to be his farewell appearance but reports from Spain suggest he has been withdrawn.
Amrabat has had knee and ankle problems this season so the Watford recruitment team will breath a sigh of relief if that is the case as they would not want an injury scuppering what will reportedly be a club transfer signing. However, Sanchez Flores had no qualms about bringing on Victor Ibarbo the other night, despite knowing he was heading for the exit door.
Sanchez Flores likes Amrabat because he has the pace and power he is looking for and, crucially, he can come in and hit the ground running.
“He can play as a first striker, a second striker and also as a winger at Malaga,” he said. “Three or four years ago I’ve been looking at this player. He’s a very interesting player. He makes a difference. “