The inevitable break up of Watford’s promotion squad continued when Daniel Pudil completed the formalities in turning his loan move at Sheffield Wednesday into a permanent one.
Pudil did not play a minute of action following the 4-1 win over Reading in March 2015 but he remains one of the heroes of that promotion-winning season and a crowd favourite.
He made 108 appearances after joining from Granada, initially on loan in 2012 and permanently in 2013, scoring three times. A popular member of the dressing room and a good professional, he went on loan to Sheffield Wednesday simply because Watford upgraded in the left-back area by signing Jose Holebas and Nathan Ake.
Pudil still managed to retain his international place on the back of 47 appearances for Sheffield Wednesday and he played the full 90 of the final Euro 2016 group against Turkey. He then had an extended holiday and trained at London Colney before the formalities on his £1m move were thrashed out.
“It was a long wait but I’m happy to have got it done,” he told the Sheffield Star. “These things always take a bit of time but I’m so pleased to be back at Wednesday. My first choice was always Wednesday.
“I’m really glad that Watford let me go. I just want to say thanks to them and all the people over there. I had an amazing three years in Watford. But I knew this was the time to move and I’m really glad to be back in Sheffield.”
Where are they now? The squad who played against Sheffield Wednesday on the final day of the 2014/15 season.
Heurelho Gomes: Answered any doubts that he is Premier League class with a series of shut outs and saves that earned him three awards at the club’s end of season bash.
Gabrielle Angella: Sent out on loan to QPR last season and now back at Udinese.
Miguel Layun: Started twice under Quique Sanchez Flores before joining Porto on loan in a shock switch. Made the move permanent in the summer.
Matt Connolly: Desperately wanted Watford to make his loan switch permanent but it didn’t happen. Made 45 appearances for Cardiff last season.
Marco Motta: Released by Watford last summer and took until the new year to get fixed up with a club. Played 12 times for Charlton last season. Currently unattached
Ikechi Anya: Was a fixture under Sanchez Flores during the first half of last season and enjoyed a revival towards the end. Will be a handy back up wing-back for new boss Walter Mazzarri.
Almen Abdi: Played in a more defensive role last season and was substituted more times than any Watford player. Joined Sheffield Wednesday this week.
Ben Watson: Bagged a contract extension this summer after emerging as an unlikely midfield linchpin under Sanchez Flores.
Troy Deeney: Watford had to do the hard sell on him in the summer after Leicester came calling three times.
Matej Vydra: Reluctantly loaned to Reading after Sanchez Flores said he had no use for him. Only scored nine times in 38 appearances for the Royals – and three of those came in a hat-trick against Huddersfield. Has a golden chance to resurrect his Watford career this summer.
Jonathan Bond: Joined Reading in search of first-team football. Only made six appearances last season so might have been better off staying and being the back up to Gomes.
Tommie Hoban: Not played a minute of competitive first-team action because of a troublesome problem in the groin and hip area.
Gianni Munari: Watford didn’t extend his season-long loan deal and he joined Cagliari.
Daniel Tozser: Eyebrows were raised when Tozser was released but he didn’t pull up too many trees in 19 appearances at Queens Park Rangers.
Fernando Forestieri: The crowd were cheering for him to come against Southampton but Sanchez Flores dug his heels in. He was gone a few weeks later and is now a huge favourite at Hillsborough.
Odion Ighalo: Gone from strength, as evidenced by the 17 goals he scored last season and the fact a bid from China nearly quadrupled from this time last summer.