Watford supporters have been pretty downbeat in recent times after seeing their side suffer a third successive Premier League defeat on Tuesday night.
Javi Gracia’s men went into their encounter with league leaders Manchester City off the back of going down 2-0 to Leicester City at the weekend, which thus extended their winless run in the league to four games. And that soon became five after losing 2-1 at home to Pep Guardiola’s Citizens on Tuesday, with goals from Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez inspiring the visitors to a 12th league victory of the season.
Thus, there have been many disappointed Hornets fans up and down the country, although several are hoping for improvement from their side as the season wears on given how relatively busy they were during the summer transfer window.
In fact, the club’s hierarchy were praised for some of the business they conducted, as they were back in the summer of 2017 in luring midfielder Will Hughes to Vicarage Road from Derby County for £8.19 million (as per Transfermarkt).
It was former boss Marco Silva who got the deal done for the supremely talented Englishman, a deal current manager Gracia is beginning to reap the rewards from given Hughes has become a lynchpin in his Watford team.
Ultimately, 23-year-old Hughes always looked destined for the Premier League after excelling repeatedly during his time at Derby, with Watford eventually sealing a deal for the midfielder last summer as new manager Silva sought to stamp his authority on things at Vicarage Road.
And while Hughes shone in victories over West Ham and Newcastle United in November last year, he otherwise had a bit-part role to play under Silva, before a hamstring injury in December saw him ruled out until March, by which time Silva had been relieved of his duties.
Yet under new boss Gracia, who was rewarded with a long-term contract last month for the work he has done at the Hertfordshire-based club, the 23-year-old has become a mainstay in appearing in each of their final ten Premier League games last season, and indeed having started all 15 of their matches this time round in their solid start to the campaign.
And with a goal and an assist in that time, Hughes is slowly but surely making a midfield spot his own at Vicarage Road, which is particularly pertinent given he is often played out of position on the right-hand-side – that’s how much Gracia rates him to perform.
Coming off with an injury against City will surely be of concern to the Watford boss, who is certainly reaping the rewards from Silva’s shrewd purchase last year.
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