Watford manager Javi Gracia has done a phenomenal job with the Hornets, not just keeping them up in the Premier League, but finishing 11th in the table, while also leading them to an FA Cup final, which they lost to Manchester City. The Spanish manager is reportedly looking to add some experience to his defensive line-up for next season by adding West Bromwich Albion’s experienced centre back, Craig Dawson.
The report in The Sun states that Dawson, who has been a key member of West Brom’s stints in the Premier League and Championship over the last few years, wants to get back to England’s top-flight ahead of next season, and has recently hired a new agent to make it happen. The 29-year-old defender is also a target for another Premier League side, Burnley, who are also keen on adding him to their side.
Dawson has just one year left on his contract which expires in 2020, which means that he is expected to be available at an affordable price.
West Brom bought Dawson from Rochdale, and after a slow start to life with the Baggies in the Premier League, he became a permanent fixture in the side in the 2014-15 season and has since become a key player for the team.
What will Dawson add to the Watford team?
Ahead of the 2019-20 season, Watford need to shore up their defence, which conceded 59 goals in the 2018-19 Premier League season, while also being drubbed embarrassingly 6-0 by Manchester City in the FA Cup final.
The Hornets’ central defence mainly consisted of Craig Cathcart alongside one of Adrian Mariappa or Christian Kabasele, who aren’t defenders who can get a team into the top 10 of the Premier League. Craig Dawson would add Premier League experience, having been a part of over 150 games for West Brom in the top-flight.
The 29-year-old is an old-school defender who clears any ball that arrives in the box and is aggressive in his tackling. Another reason why Watford would be keenly interested in adding him to the side is his versatility as he has shown that he can play as a central defender or as a right-back.
Watford have threatened to break into the top 10 and even higher on several occasions but have fallen short due to their lack of consistency over the course of the season. More experience and quality depth will ensure they are in a position from which a late surge can be planned unlike previous seasons when they stuttered to the finishing line.