Mario Suarez probably had a wry smile to himself this morning when he woke up at the opulent Hertfordshire hotel he and his model girlfriend are residing in before the house hunting starts. If things had turned out differently, and he chased the increased salary we are told was on offer at Valencia, he would have been on the end of a masterclass from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez as well as the hairdryer treatment of Gary Neville last night. Instead, he got a gentle three-minute run out against the Premier League champions at Vicarage Road and a shake of the hand and a thank you from Watford’s head coach in the dressing room. (Quique Sanchez Flores always goes round and thanks his players win, lose or draw).
The brief cameo against Chelsea, however, has just increased the sense of anticipation among those Watford fans unfamiliar with Suarez’s distinguished work. They, quite rightly, will be wondering just what the fanfare has been about over this headline-grabbing signing from Fiorentina. What exactly have Watford got for a bargain £4.1m, they ask?
“I think he’s a good player, he always gives 100 per cent for the team,” Toby Alderweireld told hamhigh.co.uk. The Spurs defender played with Suarez at Atletico Madrid in the swashbuckling team that won La Liga and reached the Champions League final in 2014. “He’s got good technique, he reads the game very well so I think he’s a very good player for Watford.”
Ben Watson, you guess, is the player most under threat from the arrival of Suarez but he took his game up yet another notch last night. He welcomes the competition.
“I only trained with him yesterday [Tuesday],” Watson told us after the Chelsea game. “Everyone in football knows he’s a Spain international who has the won league at Atletico Madrid. He’s a top player and that can only be good for the club if we are attracting them.”
Troy Deeney, like most astute observers with a knowledge of the European game, know what a landmark signing Suarez is. The 29-year-old arrives at Vicarage Road at the peak of his powers and less than two-and-a-half years after rubbing shoulders with Xavi and Iniesta in the Spain midfielder.
“When you see a player of the calibre of Mario Suarez coming to Watford with what he’s won in the game that, for me, is a message about the ambition the club has to be established itself in the Premier League,” the captain said in his programme notes.
It might have been bitterly cold last night and goalless but Suarez’s girlfriend seemed to enjoy her first taste of Premier League football.
We were kindly invited to give our thoughts on a few Watford FC issues to the ever popular From The Rookery End podcast lads before last night’s game. Click HERE to have a listen