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Loan Watch: Watford

In our Loan Watch feature, the Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a selection of players from a particular club are doing whilst they are away from their home and provide a brief update regarding their progress.

This week we take a look at how Watford’s loanees are getting on. It’s been a rough start to this Premier League for the Hornets, they have already sacked their manager in Javi Gracia and have brought back Quique Sanchez Flores. With that in mind, let’s see if things are getting on better for their loanees.

Ken Sema

After joining Watford from Ostersund in the summer of last year, Sema has failed to claim a regular place at Vicarage Road. He featured in 17 league games last year, starting nine and coming on in eight, scoring just the one goal, per Soccerbase.

It clearly wasn’t a big enough statement for then-manager Javi Gracia, with the wide midfielder being sent out on loan to Udinese.

Given that the Pozzo family own both Watford and Udinese, it’s a deal which makes sense of the face of things as Watford will be able to keep a stern eye on their player as well as the Pozzo’s being able to help out their other club.

Obviously, it’s early days for the 25-year-old still and Serie A has only played two games, but he has featured in both matches.

The midfielder played nine minutes in Udinese’s fantastic start to the season versus AC Milan where they won 1-0 and did enough to be selected for their second match, an underwhelming 3-1 loss to Parma.

Playing at left-wing back, Sema’s stats were hardly glistening, with the player only averaging 0.5 dribbles per match, 1 key pass per match and 0.5 shots per match, according to WhoScored, none of which stand out at all against his teammates.

Again, it’s not a fantastic start to life, but given that it’s only been two games and he only joined on August 22, there’s still plenty of time to put that right.

Jerome Sinclair

Once considered a huge prospect, Jerome Sinclair’s career hasn’t taken off like many would’ve hoped.

On September 26, 2012, Sinclair became the youngest player to ever appear in a competitive match for Liverpool when he played versus West Brom in the League Cup – he was just 16 years and six days (LFCHistory.net).

Fast forward seven years and the 22-year-old (soon to become 23) has started just one Premier League match, though has come on in 10 (Transfermarkt).

A series of unsuccessful loans in League One has led to a move to VVV-Venlo in the Eredivisie for the attacker, and so far he has featured in five games.

In all truth, it hasn’t been a great start for Sinclair. Starting three and coming on in two, he is yet to find the net, and more worryingly only averages 0.8 shots per game for the side – lower than a string of midfielders. He also has a pretty poor 63.2 pass percentage rate and only averages 0.4 key passes per game.

These stats can possibly be explained by the fact he has made his three starts playing as a right-winger as opposed to a centre-forward. More positively for him, he averages 2 dribbles per game and gets fouled 2.4 times per game, which is higher than the rest of the squad (all stats per WhoScored).

Ben Wilmot

Young defender Ben Wilmot, 19, joined Swansea this season on a season-long loan after spending some time last year in Serie A.

The centre-back played five games in Italy after joining in January last year but has failed to make the transition easily into the Championship.

Swansea – who are currently top of the league after six matches – are yet to play Wilmot, who has been on the bench in every game.

With Swansea having such a great start, it is hard to see him squeezing in that team unless one of Joe Rodon or Mike van der Hoorn pick up an injury.

Adalberto Penaranda

Adalberto Penaranda, 22, was sent out on loan to Belgian side KAS Eupen after not making the Watford squad in their first four games this season.

He has been on loan Malaga a couple of times in recent years but has failed to make an impact and score any goals.

However, with the loan deal taking place on September 2, the attacker has still not featured.

Cucho Hernandez

Colombian youngster Cucho Hernandez joined Mallorca on loan for the season.

The 20-year-old has spent the last two seasons on loan at Huesca, helping them win promotion to La Liga in 2017/18, bagging 16 times in 35 league games. The same form couldn’t be replicated in La Liga, however, only scoring four times in his 34 games, assisting four (Transfermarkt).

He now has his move back to La Liga to continue impressing, however, the young attacker only joined on August 26, meaning that there has only been one game since his arrival – a game which he did not feature in.

On the whole, it has been a slow start for these five Watford loanees, though, like any transfer, it can take a while for a player to set in and get used to his surroundings, so it will be interesting to see how these pan out over the next few weeks.

Watford fans – what do you think of your loanees? Do you think any of them should be in the current Watford squad? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Loan Watch: Watford
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