Adalberto Penaranda will complete the full set of appearances against the South America superpowers, boosting his chances of a UK work permit in the process, if he’s selected to play for Venezuela against Brazil on Wednesday.
The teenage sensation has played against Uruguay, Argentina, Mexico and Colombia since he became a Watford player on the final day of the winter transfer window and has started five of his country’s last six internationals, a fact that will be taken into account in the next hearing to decide if he’s eligible to work in this country.
Penaranda played just over an hour of Venezuela’s 3-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Uruguay yesterday, a result underpinned by two goals from Edinson Cavani, a player Walter Mazzarri knows well from their time at Napoli.
The 19-year-old will now hope to get the nod at home to Neymar & co in Merida, Venezuela on Wednesday as his country look to improve on a record of one point from their first three qualifying games.
Penaranda was sent to Udinese on loan because his application for a UK work permit was refused – and he has been involved in all seven of their games and getting his first start in the 1-0 defeat to Sassuolo. Senior Watford officials have high hopes for Penaranda and plan to integrate him into Watford’s squad next summer, adding to the growing South American flavour being cultivated at Vicarage Road.
“He is an individual player,” Isaac Success, who played with Penaranda at Granada, told us. “You just tell him to go and do what he wants to do. You have to give freedom to do what he wants on the pitch. That’s the way you get the best out of him. He’s very playful. I miss him a lot as a friend. We were always together, all the time. He has a new life now and I have to give him time to settle down. I will speak to him and find out how life at Udinese.”