Quique Sanchez Flores accepts Mario Suarez and Nordin Amrabat, two players Watford signed in January at his behest, have struggled to make an impact at Vicarage Road, but the Spaniard believes both will be much improved next season.
The duo were bought from Fiorentina and Malaga respectively during the winter transfer window, signed for more than £11m and handed long-term contracts. They have started just 14 games between them in all competitions and only produced fleeting moments of quality during their four months – Suarez away at West Ham United and Amrabat against Aston Villa.
“They have tried to give their best but it is difficult because English football is so different to Spain and Italy,” Sanchez Flores told us this morning. “For the future they need to give more. I am sure they’ll be better next season with the experience of these four to five months.”
Suarez, due to an injury to Etienne Capoue, has started Watford’s last two matches but has failed to impose himself in either game. He struggled horribly against Liverpool on Sunday before being replaced in the 53rd minute by Adlene Guedioura.
In mitigation, Suarez, 29, didn’t have a proper pre-season with Fiorentina, arrived undercooked, has lived in three different cities, mainly out of hotels, and his wife, Malena, is pregnant with their first child. Amrabat, however, was a permanent fixture for Malaga and arrived ready to hit the ground running, but he has started just four Premier League games since his January arrival.
Neither would start if Sanchez Flores picked his first-choice XI and the arrival of Aboulaye Doucoure, Isaac Success and Adalberto Penaranda in the summer will only decrease their chances of featuring more regularly next season.