The decision to sign Brice Dja Djedje was called further into question this afternoon after he was left out of Watford’s Premier League squad.
The 25-year-old was signed injured on a four-year deal for a fee as high as £4m from Marseille but has not been fit enough to train, because of an existing calf problem, let alone featured in any matchday squad. He has spent the entire time in the treatment room, with Richard Collinge and his team, since he arrived. Collinge and his team had, at one stage last season, the best injury record league in the last season in terms of the fewest training days missed.
Dje Djede, who turns 26 in December, can be re-added when the squad is re-submitted in January but only at the expense of one of foreign player. Even when he does return, he looks to have his work cut out to find his way into the squad, let alone the team, as Nordin Amrabat has impressed down the right flank while Holland international Daryl Janmaat is also on the books. You wonder if the club would have moved for Dje Djedje had they known then there was a chance of landing Janmaat.
After some pruning, Watford filled the maximum number of foreign players permitted, meaning Giedrius Arlauskis and Juan Carlos Paredes are deemed surplus requirements and cannot play any first-team football until the window reopens in January. We understand Paredes was close to a £2m move to Reading but, for some reason, the deal fell through. Abdoulaye Doucoure is included after what would have been a shock loan move to Lorient fell through.
Watford are three shy of filling the 25-man squad quota after selling Ikechi Anya to Derby County, loaning Tommie Hoban to Blackburn and selling Sean Murray to Swindon and it’s slightly dispiriting that they can only muster five home-grown players, but Jerome Sinclair is included as one of an unlimited number of under-21 players permitted. The forward would have joined Norwich City on loan had the Canaries managed to make room for him by moving on Steven Naismith.
Foreign players: Heurelho Gomes, Miguel Britos, Younes Kaboul, Sebastian Prodl, Nordin Amrabat, Valon Behrami, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Adlene Guedioura, Camilo Zuniga, Daryl Janmaat, Odion Ighalo, Jose Holebas, Christian Kabasele, Etienne Capoue, Costel Pantilimon, Stefano Okaka, Roberto Pereyra.
Home-grown players: Adrian Mariappa, Troy Deeney, Rene Gilmartin, Craig Cathcart, Ben Watson.
Under-21 players: Isaac Success, Jerome Sinclair, Kenedy, Brandon Mason, Charlie Rowan, Nathan Gartside, Charlie Bannister, Connor Stevens, Andrew eleftheriou. Ashley Charles, Michael Folivi, Obi Ogo.