Watford will announce at the end of the season they have signed Liverpool’s Jerome Sinclair on a long-term deal.
We understand the Hornets have beaten off competition from the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Crystal Palace and Bournemouth to sign the 19-year-old forward. He is the third young attacker Watford have signed this year, following on from January’s official announcement that Adalberto Penaranda will be heading to Vicarage Road this summer and our exclusive story that Isaac Success, the 20-year-old Nigerian, will be following the Venezuelan from Granada to Hertfordshire.
Sinclair rejected the offer of a new contract at Liverpool and was free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement without having to get Liverpool’s permission.
Talks between Watford’s senior executives and Aidy Ward, Sinclair’s agent, have been taking place for several months and the Hornets have managed to convince the player his long-term future is best served at Vicarage Road. Liverpool are due compensation because the player is under 24 years of age. That will set by the Professional Football Compensation Committee.
“He’s a very good player,” said Quique Sanchez Flores in January. “[We want strikers] who can play as the main striker, at the back of the main striker, who can play with pace and power, who can play football, who can shoot and score goals. For the wingers, we want speed, velocity and skill.”
Sinclair gave a glimpse of his talent, albeit with Liverpool’s Under-21 side, in February when he came off the bench against Brighton, scored with his first touch and then netted an extra-time winner as Liverpool won 4-3 to reach the final of the Premier League Cup. Sinclair missed the second leg of the final against West Ham United earlier this month after pulling out in the warm-up through injury.
Moving to Anfield as a 14-year-old from West Bromwich and spending six weeks under Malky Mackay at Wigan last season, Sinclair was fancied early on by Jurgen Klopp. He started the FA Cup third-round win over Exeter City and was a late substitute in the original fourth-round tie against West Ham United, but he seemingly fell out of favour under the German once it became clear he was looking to run down his contract.