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Almen Abdi: ‘I had a fantastic four years at Watford’

Almen Abdi said he moved to Sheffield Wednesday as Walter Mazzarri could not guarantee he would be restored to his favoured central position this season.

Abdi was played on the right last season with strict defensive responsibilities and he even played at right-back against Aston Villa. He was played at right wing-back against Stevenage and Union Berlin this month – and flew home to hold talks with other clubs the day before the final game of the tour with Anzhi Makhachkala.

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“I didn’t always play in my right position,” Abdi said in an interview with the Sheffield Star. “I like to play in the middle but I played a lot on the right hand side last year. Watford couldn’t tell me I would play in my right position this year so I was looking for something else and I think Sheffield Wednesday are a perfect solution.”

Watford will receive a guaranteed £4m from Wednesday and a further £2m if the Owls win promotion to the Premier League. There is also an appearance-related clause.

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“I had a fantastic four years at Watford but this is a new chapter for me,” he said. “I had a few offers from other clubs but I chose Wednesday because I had a feeling that it was the best choice for me in my career. I saw a couple of the team’s games last year. I like their style of play. I’m looking forward to the new season and I hope I can settle down as quick as possible.”

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Abdi is the latest player to join the mini-exodus to Hillsborough.

“I have spoken with many people in the last few days, including Fernando [Forestieri], Daniel [Pudil] and the coach [Carlos Carvalhal],” he said. “They convinced me to join the club and I’m really happy to be here.”