Cardiff City are set to beat off their Welsh rivals Swansea to the signing of League Two hot-shot Max Watters, as first reported by Football Insider.
Since signing for Crawley Town in October, Watters has netted 13 times in 15 league appearances and their cheap gamble has seemingly paid off both on the pitch and off it.
The Reds could land in excess of £1 million (including add-ons) for the 21-year-old, which is great business for just three months work, and it will go a long way to helping Crawley’s finances in this tough time.
Whilst not a done deal yet, Watters is expected to sign for the Bluebirds in the next few days, so let’s look at two potential knock-on effects of the deal happening.
Robert Glatzel down the pecking order
A bench player for the majority of the current season, £5 million signing Glatzel is getting an extended run in Cardiff’s starting line-up following an injury to the talismanic Kieffer Moore.
The two rarely play together though because they’re such similar players in terms of their height and skill set – which is why the German will probably drop down the pecking order when Watters signs.
Watters is more of a poacher that can play off a target man, so he could forge a prolific partnership with Moore when he has recovered from his hamstring problem, and Neil Harris may already have that plan in place.
Permanent switch to 4-4-2
Harris has flip-flopped between 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 this season (transfermarkt), starting the first nine league games with the one striker system, but there has been the increasing tendency for the Bluebirds boss to switch to a more traditional formation.
The signing of Watters may mean that Harris will be going forward with 4-4-2 for good – at least at home when the onus is on the side to attack and win the game – with Harry Wilson, Junior Hoilett and Sheyi Ojo battling it out for the two wide positions.
And it may see the team go even more direct up to Moore when he’s back in the team, as his strength of winning flick-ons could provide Watters with a hatful of chances.