Ambitious Watford will add to their reputation as a destination for some of Europe’s most sought-after talent by announcing they have signed Isaac Success from Granada.
Sources in Spain have today told us that the Hornets have reached a pre-contract agreement to sign Success, the livewire forward at Granada on a long-term deal. The fee for the 20-year-old is not known and may well be undisclosed but we are told the Hornets will pay Udinese £8m for Adalberto Penaranda, a player of similar age and pedigree, if they use him next season.
The timing of the official announcement, we are told, is sensitive because of Granada’s relegation plight. The signing of Success is another nod to the club’s exciting future and further evidence of the forward-thinking of Gino Pozzo and Scott Duxbury.
Abdoulaye Doucoure, 23, joined on a long-term deal last month, Jerome Sinclair, 19, is in talks about becoming a Watford player while Obbi Oulare, 20, and Steven Berghuis, 24, were signed in the summer. Quique Sanchez Flores also confirmed the club are monitoring the situation of Pablo Sarabia, Getafe’s 23-year-old playmaker who is a free agent in the summer.
While Doucoure is nailed on to join up with Watford in the summer and Penaranda is almost certain to, the plan for Success is unclear. He will join up with the squad in the summer at the earliest and his involvement with Watford next season may hinge on the other transfer business at the attacking end of the field Watford conduct this summer, including whether the club are receptive to bids for Odion Ighalo and indeed if the top-scorer agitates for a move. Ighalo was in Granada on Sunday to watch his countryman in action.
There is also the issue of the number of foreign players the club can carry. The club already have one over the maximum 17 non home-grown players you are allowed to name in a Premier League squad – Essaid Belkalem is kicking his heels at London Colney until the summer – and Doucoure would take the number of senior foreign players on their books to 19. Success, born in Nigeria, and Penaranda, the Venezuelan, would eventually take the figure to 21, but, in the meantime, they can be counted among the unlimited number of U21 players Premier League teams are allowed to name.
Success plays anywhere across the front and his blistering pace caused Real Madrid plenty of problems last weekend. He has played for Nigeria’s Under-17 and U20 sides and was picked up by the Pozzos’ scouting network in 2013, originally signing for Udinese before joining Granada in 2014. He made his league debut for Granada at the age of 18 and is a fixture for the Spanish strugglers, playing 25 times this season including in today’s defeat to Real Sociedad.