Why Watford Should Go After Fulham Boss if the Cottagers Miss Out on Promotion to the Premier League

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With Watford’s managerial merry-go-round of late, it wouldn’t be the work of a pessimist to think a new boss could be in charge at Vicarage Road next season.

Current Hornets manager Javi Gracia has done well to keep his side in the Premier League after taking over from Marco Silva.

But, with the Pozzo family likely to change the head coach once more, why not bring in a familiar face in Slavisa Jokanovic? 

Jokanovic has had unprecedented success this season at the reigns of Fulham. The Cottagers were on a run of 24 league games without defeat before falling short when it mattered most at the hands of Birmingham City on the last day of the regular season, leaving them two points short of automatic promotion.

This isn’t to take away from his achievements however, as he has secured his side a spot in the Championship play-offs, where Fulham will face Derby County.

But, you do have to wonder – will he want to be at a Championship club next season? 

The 49-year-old will be familiar with Watford, after his short tenure in charge at the club during the 2014/15 season.

Despite only being in charge for one season, and becoming the Hornet’s fourth manager in just five weeks, Jokanovic led Watford to the promised land – the Premier League. His side sealed promotion with a 2-0 victory over now fellow top flight side Brighton and Hove Albion.

Slavisa became a fan favourite for his actions on the pitch, but it was the meetings behind closed doors which saw yet another manager take over at the realm of Vicarage Road. The Serbian failed to agree a new deal and was subsequently replaced by Quique Sanchez Flores. 

If Fulham were to miss out in the play-offs this campaign, you would expect a mass exodus from their star men who will be hungry for Premier League football.

Ryan Sessegnon, the Whites’ tricky left sided outlet, has already drawn attention from some of worlds biggest clubs. While he may be out of Watford’s price range, Fulham captain Tom Cairney is a perfect fit.

With the likely departure of central midfielder maestro Abdoulaye Doucoure, it leaves a space in the Hornet’s midfield; a perfect match for the Fulham leader. The attraction of top flight football would certainly be appealing to some of those players, and Jokanovic would in essence have the pick of the bunch.

The style of football Fulham have displayed this season has been special to watch. Blistering pace down the wings, delicate passing in the middle and a big man up top to aim for when needed; they have walked all over teams.

The pace and trickery of Ryan Sessegnon could easily be compared to that of Watford wonderkid Richarlison. Tom Cairney’s dominance in midfield isn’t too dissimilar to that of Abdoulaye Doucoure. And Aleksandar Mitrovic’s ability to hold up and find the net resembles that of Watford captain Troy Deeney.

Whether the players are an upgrade or not, Slavisa Jokanovic could implement his playing style directly and quickly on to this current Watford squad. 

A lot of the Fulham squad are Premier League-standard players, and will want to prove that in the big leagues next season.

That is not different for the manager. Slavisa Jokanovic has worked wonders with the Fulham squad and if they do miss out on a spot in England’s top flight next season, Watford should come knocking. 

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