Brice Dja Djedje, the forgotten summer signing, is in line to make his Watford debut in the FA Cup against Burton Albion tomorrow.
The right wing-back has not been able to kick a competitive ball for the Hornets since arriving from Marseille in a £4m deal because of a pre-existing fracture of one his big toes. He’s was not even named in the club’s Premier League squad and he’s had at least one setback in his recovery, but Walter Mazzarri says the Ivory Coast international is now available for selection, despite two light training sessions after seven months out.
“I’m happy we well have on the bench JJ who hasn’t been training a lot with us,” said the head coach. “He started with us last week and I’m happy to have him back, although it (his involvement) will be very limited.”
When it looked like Watford were going to miss out on signing Daryl Janmaat, they turned their attention to Dja Djedje after a recommendation from Mazzarri, who tried to sign the player when he was in charge at Napoli. In the end, the Janmaat deal was resurrected late in the window and Watford ended up with both.
“He’s a player that I follow for a long time,” said the head coach, “[particularly] when he was playing with Marseille with [Marcelo] Bielsa. He was playing in the role I like, a role I find interesting as well. When I arrived here, the club and myself thought he was a very interesting player that can be of great hep to the team.”
How long Dja Djedje remains a Watford player remains to be seen. They can only name a maximum of 17 foreign players in their Premier League and will be loath to use up four of the slots with four players (Dja Djede, Janmaat, Zuniga and Amrabat) who can play right wing-back. The club also have Juan Carlos Paredes still on the books but he won’t be considered for the revised squad that is resubmitted on the first of next month.