With the sale of Richarlison to Everton officially announced earlier this week, and Watford set to pocket a hefty fee of up to £50m, attention has turned to the possible inbound players that could make the difference to the Hornets squad.
With many people calling for a like-for-like replacement to fill the void left by the Brazilian wonderkid, you only have to take a glance at the Watford team sheet during pre-season to see perhaps Javi Gracia might not be spending any of that new pocket money.
Prior to the departure of Richarlison to the Toffees, Watford bought in Swedish international Ken Sema from Ostersunds FK to provide competition for places on the left wing.
Sema, who signed a five year contract at Vicarage Road, has impressed massively throughout Watford’s preseason tour of Austria, which saw him provide an assist on his first appearance for the Hornets and excite the Watford faithful.
Having already shown his worth on the big stage, scoring the decisive goal against Arsenal at the Emirates in last season’s Europa League, and only costing the Hornets a measly £1m, Javi Gracia might just have already found himself a ready-made replacement.
While Ken Sema looks set to take over the duties on the left wing at Vicarage Road, it is not to say the Hornets don’t have other options.
Castaway loanee Isaac Success has found himself back in contention of a spot in the starting line-up this coming season, having featured in all Watford’s preseason friendlies so far, to the delight of the Watford fans.
Question marks over his fitness and commitment to the club in recent seasons has seen Success play just 19 times for the Hornets since signing for the club in 2016, and being sent on loan to La Liga side Malaga.
Following his return, Success has been putting in the graft in the off season and looks set to finally get his chance to prove himself in the Premier League.
Much like Richarlison, the 22-year-old provides pace and trickery down the wing, and is certainly not afraid to take any player on, and could be a not so secret weapon for Gracia this season, if given the chance to shine.
Image by Christian Fuller
While the Watford faithful are delighted to see the return of Success to the Watford ranks, the introduction of Adalberto Peñaranda has caused a Twitter meltdown.
Peñaranda, who originally signed for the Hornets 2016, has never made an appearance, never made the squad, and not even trained with Watford until this preseason, due to issues securing a work permit to play in England’s top flight.
Having had spells on loan at Granada, Udinese and Malaga over the last two seasons, the 21-year-old finally looks set to set the Premier League alight this season.
Whether it’s a new signing in Sema, an old cast-away in Success, or an up and coming youngster in Peñaranda, Watford certainly have options in who can replace Richarlison in the Hornets starting 11 this season, without dipping into their now hefty transfer budget.