Watford are exploring the possibility of moving Adalberto Penaranda back to Spain.
The Hornets have been disappointed with the amount of football the Venezuelan teenager has seen in Serie A this season (he’s started just one game) and trying to persuade the UK Home Office to give a work permit to an Udinese substitute will not be easy. Watford have already had one application refused because Penaranda does not fulfil enough of the criteria.
A work permit is always going to be tough to secure for Peneranda, as Venezuela are not ranked in the top 75 of Fifa’s rankings, but another year in Spain would help him gain Spanish citizenship as he will have spent more than two years there as a professional. It will also allow him to move more easily between European clubs. Watford used the same naturalisation process to help Isaac Success gain a work permit, with the size of the transfer fee (£12.5m) also helping their case.
There will be no shortage of takers for Penaranda, who made waves in La Liga for Granada last season. He has not had quite the same impact in Serie A. He played just 129 minutes under Giuseppe Iachini who was fired earlier this month. The forward was unused by new coach Luigi Delneri in his first game, against Juventus and missed the the 3-1 win over Pescara at the weekend because of an ankle injury.
Watford would dearly love to bring Penaranda, 19, to Vicarage Road and view him very much part of the club’s long-term plans, but the smart money would be on him spending the next season and a half in Spain and then moving to Watford for the start of the 2018/19 campaign.