EFL pundit Dean Ashton has heaped praise on Watford defender Francisco Sierralta for the impact he has made at Vicarage Road since his summer arrival following his display in the Hornets’ win against Birmingham City.
Sierralta was a signing that perhaps went somewhat under the radar in the summer. However, the defender has been in excellent form in recent weeks and he was able to deliver a commanding performance at the back on Saturday in the 3-0 win against Birmingham City. The 23-year-old won five aerial duels, made one tackle and one interception and made ten clearances (Sofascore).
The defender has been one of the Hornets’ most consistent performers this term and he has managed to help them record ten clean sheets in his 19 Championship appearances (Sofascore). That shows that he has been integral to Watford establishing themselves in pole position now to claim the final automatic promotion spot behind Norwich City.
Speaking on EFL on Quest, Ashton heaped praised on the defender for his performance against Birmingham and the ease of which he marshalled Lukas Jutkiewicz. While he also suggested that he has been an outstanding addition for the Hornets this campaign.
He said: “Francisco Sierralta was absolutely outstanding today, and he has been outstanding ever since he walked through the door. Seventeen starts for him now and Watford have only conceded ten goals!
“And today up against Jutkiewicz he won every duel, every header, most clearances. Dominating performance against a top forward.”
You would have to agree with Ashton’s assessment on Sierralta here, with the 23-year-old looking like one of the Hornets’ most astute signings in a long time especially in terms of defensive additions. The defender has a lot of potential and he has adapted to the Championship very well and looks at home amidst the physical demands of the division.
There are not many defenders in the league that like going up against Jutkiewicz in physical battles throughout a game, but Sierralta relished that on Saturday and took the forward completely out of the game by cutting off any chance for him to hold the ball up or get on the end of crosses. In recent years Watford would have been troubled by such a presence in their penalty area.
He is now firmly established as their first choice centre-back and he could be crucial in determining whether the Hornets are able to continue their fine recent form and earn promotion back to the Premier League.