Those Manchester City fans who twice booed Roberto Pereyra at the Etihad stadium might be feeling a tinge of regret following the news the Argentine faces an extended spell on the sidelines.
Watford’s record signing collapsed in a heap on the touchline at the Etihad stadium after his studs got caught in the turf following an innocuous challenge with Pablo Zabaleta just before the half-hour mark. The City fans harshly petitioned that he should have rolled off the pitch to receive treatment and that their team shouldn’t have kicked the ball out. The jeers got louder when he went down again minutes after gingerly getting to his feet and attempting to carry on.
He hobbled off the field to a cacophony of boos, exchanging a choice word or two with the odd irate City fan as he headed straight down the tunnel. Pereyra has since had a scan and returned to London, while the rest of the team stayed up north, to digest the news he could be out for up to four months with the problem to his left knee. It is believed he has damaged the meniscus. The only crumb of comfort is that the Argentine has not damaged his ACL, unlike Ilkay Gundogan who hobbled off shortly after in the same game.
The news is a huge blow to Walter Mazzarri who hailed the player’s all-round contribution last week. The irony is he was actually due to miss the City game through suspension but unexpectedly became available after his three-match ban was reduced to one.
The loss of Pereyra, the club’s record signing and chief playmaker, will see Watford recalibrate their transfer plans next month. A midfielder was already on the shopping list to help ease Valon Behrami’s workload but a loan may now be sought to help cover for the absence of the former Juventus man.