It was all change at Watford yet again at the end of 2020 as Xisco Munoz entered the hot-seat at Vicarage Road.
The inexperienced Spaniard took over from Vladimir Ivic, who lasted just four months before being sacked by the ruthless Pozzo family.
In came 40-year-old Xisco, whose managerial experience stretches as far as 11 games managed at Georgian side Dinamo Tbilisi.
Watford’s current squad is a mix of young talent and experience, but if there’s one negative it’s that there doesn’t seem to be any real academy talent in there right now.
19-year-old Daniel Phillips has made a couple of first-team appearances but that is about as good as it gets right now for academy products – but there’s a whole host of talent in the under-18 set-up just waiting to break through.
Let’s look at three of those players who are looking to make a big impact at Vicarage Road in 2021…
Sonny Blu Lo-Everton
Aside from his incredibly interesting name, Lo-Everton is a serious talent and has been at the club since he was nine years old.
Now 18 years of age, the Scottish youth international has already been representing the under-23s despite only being a second-year scholar, and that can only be a positive thing in terms of a potential pathway into the first team.
The ultimate 2021 Watford quiz – Can you get 24/24 correct?
A Watford player since 2012, the 16-year-old forward is creating a real impression in the Hornets’ under-18s side this season.
Forde is already on 10 goals for the season and if he carries on that form, other bigger academies are likely to be circling.
The new first-team boss will likely be keeping a watchful eye as well. Watford aren’t blessed with a high number of attackers but it’s probably far too soon for Forde to be introduced into the senior ranks. Never say never though…
Another under-18s player that is impressing this season, Lawal is a centre midfielder who has already been capped by the Republic of Ireland at youth level.
And his club boss at youth level Simon Clark has heaped a whole lot of praise on Lawal, saying that he ‘can be anything he wants to be’ and that he’s ‘turning into a monster’ on the pitch, which is some acclaim.
With the player already possessing superior physical attributes for his age, it would be no shock to see him earn a professional deal at the end of his scholarship.