Mario Suarez looks almost certain to be involved for Watford against Chelsea tomorrow, with the midfielder’s experience, match readiness and previous working relationship with Quique Sanchez Flores allowing him to bypass the usual settling in period for new signings.
Suarez signed on Thursday, underwent routine tests on Friday and then trained with the squad for the first time yesterday. Only Jose Manuel Jurado, of those players who did not take part in the pre-season camp in Germany, has skipped the integration process, being parachuted straight in against Dundee United just days after signing because he had played for Spartak Moscow the previous week and played for two years under the head coach at Atletico Madrid.
Suarez started Fiorentina’s match with AC Milan on January 17 and it would be hugely surprising if he didn’t at least make the bench against the Blues in front of the BT Sport cameras at Vicarage Road, possibly coming on if Watford needed to close the game out. From the side who played against Newcastle United in the last Premier League game, he will probably take Adlène Guedioura’s place in the 18-man squad.
“He trained with us and he’s fit,” confirmed the head coach this morning. “He doesn’t know how we play exactly but he knows me and I know this player. He needs to adapt a little bit to the competition. We will check his mentality but the adaptation of good players is very good.”
Amid the hype yesterday about deadline day deals for Adalberto Peñaranda and Abdoulaye Doucoure, Sanchez Flores, quite rightly, believes Watford landed one of the top midfielders in Europe last week for an initial £4.1m, a player he believes can play in the conventional No6 and No8 roles.
“This player is a top player,” he said of the 28-year-old. “He was playing for a long time for Atletico, has eight titles, a very good mentality and is a good age. This is the kind of player everyone loves. We [at Atletico] signed him from Mallorca. He was a very good player and was sharing the [midfield] positions with Tiago, with Raul Garcia, Paulo Assuncao and with Koke.”