Quique Sanchez Flores is licking his lips at the prospect of working with Adalberto Penaranda after watching the teenager illuminate the La Liga game between Granada and Real Madrid at the weekend.
The 18-year-old forward played for Granada on Sunday for the first time since becoming a Watford player. He had the home supporters, commentators and those Watford fans watching on the TV purring with his deftness of touch and the way he glided inside off the left flank. One piece of skill, in the second half, left Spain full-back Daniel Carvajal and James Rodriguez, one of the stars of the last World Cup, for dead.
“I love it,” said Sanchez Flores who watched the match at his north London home. “He looks well and it is amazing to know this type of player is coming to Watford. It is a very good decision by the owner, the sporting director.”
Penaranda will cost Watford £8m if, as expected, he is part of the Premier League squad next season and if the club secure a work permit for the Venezuelan.
“He is good in every way,” said Watford’s head coach. “He is strong, physical, he plays football, he has a good pass and a good shoot.”
As we thought he might, Sanchez Flores did point out Penaranda’s failure to track his runner for the opening Madrid goal.
“He needs to understand the position in defence,” he said. “But he is 18 and it is impossible to know everything. He’s going to be one of the best younger players in Europe. It’s important people around him manage him well.”
Granada are in action on Sunday when they play Sociedad.