Nordin Amrabat has guaranteed himself a place in Watford’s Premier League squad and, in all likelihood, a spot in the starting XI tomorrow despite the arrival of the club record defensive signing, a sign of just how transformative the last month has been for him.
Amrabat was one of those being seriously looked at to make way for the new wave of foreign summer signings but he has won favour under Walter Mazzarri to such an extent that he was given the night off against Gillingham with Saturday in mind.
“He’s one of the players who give me the biggest satisfaction,” said Mazzarri. “He was the one who struggled most at the start but the one who has improved the most. I will always consider him for the team.”
Mazzarri said yesterday he is loath to blood all three of his new boys against Arsenal, and you can see Daryl Janmaat being made to wait for his chance, given the encouraging form Amrabat has shown in the first two league games.
“With the three new players I have, it means I have more time and chances to choose different formations,” said the head coach. “Competition is always good and who comes out the pitch need to be better than the person leaving. Everyone will be considered.”
Janmaat is similarly attack-minded to Amrabat but has more experience of playing as a right-back, something Watford may need when they find themselves up against it down the opposition’s left flank.
“I can play full-back and a little bit higher as well,” Janmaat said in an interview on the club website. “I am a player who likes to go forward and I give my all always.”