Wilmot, Quina and Cassidy – the promising youngsters set for Watford first team breakthrough #Watford

Wilmot, Quina and Cassidy – the promising youngsters set for Watford first team breakthrough




Original Source


Watford’s relegation from the Premier League is the first major setback of the Pozzo era at Vicarage Road.

Sure, there were stumbles while trying to get into the top flight, but progress was always being made, either on the pitch or off it.

So this summer may prove to be something of a reset for the club, an opportunity to move on players who served Watford well in the top-flight but are no longer required or necessarily equipped to thrive in the second tier.

That in turn will free up vacancies in the squad and, with Watford not exempt from the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the club may opt to promote from within rather than spend big on replacements.

Fortunately for the Hornets, they are not short of young talent. Here are five youngsters who can step up in 2020/21…

Ben Wilmot

Signed by the Hornets in the summer of 2018 from Stevenage, Wilmot has long been expected to make his mark in the first team at Vicarage Road. That he will have to do so in the Championship was not the plan, however.

Wilmot spent the 2019/20 campaign on loan at Swansea City and was an assured presence in defence when given opportunities by Steve Cooper.

Composed in possession and shrewd at working the ball into midfield, the 20-year-old produced a series of mature displays that belied his years.

He missed the final month of the campaign due to injury, but should be fit to undertake pre-season and start in the heart of the Watford backline next term.

Domingos Quina

Having spent the 2018/19 campaign in and around the Hornets squad, and making 13 first-team appearances, Quina was expected to have a greater impact last season.

However, he was restricted to just nine appearances in all competitions and was handed only 18 minutes in the Premier League as the club’s various head coaches decided a relegation battle was not the ideal environment for a creative 20-year-old midfielder.


Quina’s talent is not in question. Brentford, Fulham, Swansea and West Brom were keen on loan moves in January while, according to The Athletic , Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal was interested in taking the Portuguese to the Camp Nou.

But first-team football, even in England’s second tier, may be enough to convince Quina his future is at Watford. And if given the opportunity, he could blossom into a key component of the 2020/21 side.

Joao Pedro

When Pedro, then aged 17, agreed to move to Vicarage Road in January 2020, he probably didn’t envisage Watford dropping out of the Premier League anytime soon.

Yet that is the scenario that has played out, and the Hornets must now decide if the rough and tumble of the Championship is an ideal place for the teenager to hone his craft.

Pedro has made just five appearances so far, two of which were starts against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup. Next season will be an important one for the Brazilian. He is an exciting talent whose development can’t be allowed to stall.

If the Hornets decide he is ready, both physically and mentally, then he could prove vital in the club’s push for promotion.

Luis Suarez

Another young South American on Watford’s books who could have a big impact next season.

The 22-year-old officially became a Hornets player in 2017 but has spent time on loan at Valladolid B, Gimnastic, and Zaragoza in order to play first-team football and gain Spanish citizenship.

His most recent loan spell proved fruitful as the Colombian netted 19 goals in all competitions for Zaragoza in the Spanish second-tier.

Such form has attracted interest from both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, but if Watford are able to keep him – and he is able to produce the same level of performance in the Championship – then Suarez could help fire them back into the Premier League.

Ryan Cassidy

Cassidy joined Watford in July 2017 from St Kevin’s Boys in Ireland and has been a prolific goalscorer for the club at under-18 and under-23 level.

Such form alerted other Premier League clubs last summer, and Watford reportedly turned down a number of bids from top-flight sides for the teenage striker.

Cassidy’s goal-scoring prowess was further highlighted in the FA Youth Cup this season as he struck seven times in five games.

He also captained the side which reached the semi-finals of the competition, where they were beaten by Liverpool.

Still only 19 years old, Cassidy signed a new two-year deal with Watford in June and he is likely to be given first-team opportunities next term, especially if one of Suarez or Pedro leaves the club, either on loan or permanently.



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