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How Watford’s 25-man Premier League squad is shaping up

Walter Mazzarri and the club’s decision makers face some tough calls about who is going to make the cut for Watford’s Premier League squad.

Each Premier League team can only register 25 players over the age of 21 for that season’s first-team matches. Of those 25 players, no more than 17 can be foreign players. Watford have 21 non home-grown players on their books – and that is before you add Juan Camilo Zuniga, the Napoli full-back bound for Vicarage Road.

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So, right now and on the basis Zuniga has signed, Mazzarri will need to tell Gino Pozzo, Scott Duxbury and Luke Dowling which FIVE foreign players will not be part of his plans, and then it’s their job to sell them or send them out on loan otherwise Watford will be paying the wages for a player they can’t use. And should a deal come off for Juan Jesus (or a foreign alternative) Mazzarri would need to trim his resources further. And that will not be an easy task when you consider the list below.

Watford’s foreign players:
(Five of these players will miss the cut and be sold or loaned while it will be a one-in-one out policy should any further foreign players sign)
Heurelho Gomes, Allan Nyom, Miguel Britos, Valon Behrami, Matej Vydra, Steven Berghuis, Almen Abdi, Odion Ighalo, Sebastian Prodl, Jose Holebas, Etienne Capoue, Giedrius Arlauskis, Juan Carlos Paredes, Daniel Pudil, Essaid Belkalem, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Mario Suarez, Costel Pantilimon, Nordin Amrabat, Adlene Guedioura, Juan Camilo Zuniga, Christian Kabasele.
Total: 22

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Watford can name as many home-grown players as they like in a 25-man squad. However, with the club seeing more value in the foreign market, there are likely to be a maximum of eight home-grown players in Watford’s submitted list. A home-grown player, as defined by the Premier League, is a player who: (a) is 21 or older on January 1 of the year in which that season begins and (b) spent three years between the ages of 16 and 21 with a team in the English football League

Watford’s home-grown players :
Sean Murray, Craig Cathcart, Troy Deeney, Rene Gilmartin, Ben Watson, Ikechi Anya, Tommie Hoban
Total: Seven

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You can name as many players under the age of 21 in the squad as you like. Usually every scholar and first year pro is registered. Nathan Ake fell into this category last season.
Watford’s senior Under-21 players:
Jerome Sinclair, Isaac Success, Obbi Oulare, Dennon Lewis, Alex Jakubiak, Nathan Gartside

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Loan deals

Watford still hold an interest in bringing in Calum Chambers from Arsenal. Premier League rules limit clubs to just two season-long domestic loans. International loan deals are, essentially, limitless but they are no real use to Watford as they already have too many foreign players.

With less than a month to the first game of the season, Mazzarri, Pozzo, Duxbury and Dowling have some number crunching to do.