Championship duo Cardiff City and Nottingham Forest are lining up a move for Watford midfielder Ben Watson, reports today’s print edition of The Daily Mirror (page 48).
The 32-year-old moved to Vicarage Road back in 2015 after a six-year spell at Wigan Athletic, in which time he helped them stave off Premier League relegation on four occasions, before grabbing the winning goal in their incredible 1-0 victory over Manchester City in the 2013 FA Cup final.
And he has since gone on to feature 67 times for Watford in the last two-and-a-half years, earning 35 Premier League appearances back in the 2015/16 campaign, but he struggled for first team football under Walter Mazzarri last term, mustering just four league appearances, all of which came from the bench.
And it appears that his time at the Hertfordshire-based club could be coming to an end, as recent reports suggest that Neil Warnock’s Cardiff and Mark Warburton’s Nottingham Forest are lining up a move for the Hornets outcast.
Bluebirds chief Warnock knows the player well having worked together during their respective stints at Crystal Palace, and may feel that Watson’s experience and midfield guile could be hugely beneficial to his Cardiff side in their quest to climb the Championship table.
While Forest boss Warburton has overseen two wins out of two to begin the new league season, and will likely be thinking how he can strengthen his options and deepen his squad to deal with the demands of the Championship campaign.
And there’s little doubt that Watson would help both sides in their respective aims this term, and with his contract up at the end of the season, a move away is looking increasingly likely.
But where he ends up plying his trade come the August 31 deadline very much remains to be seen.
The Verdict: Ben Watson has played 204 games at Championship level during his career, and with 137 top-flight appearances as well, there aren’t many players more experienced in English football than the 32-year-old.
Yet it doesn’t look like he has much of a future at Watford under Marco Silva, failing to feature in their draw with Liverpool last weekend, and as such a move away is becoming increasingly likely, what with his contract up at the end of the campaign.
And dropping down to the familiarity of the Championship may be his only choice, and the vast amount of experience he possesses, as well as the midfield guile and tenacity he has in abundance, he’d be a shrewd acquisition for many sides in the division.
Cardiff and Forest fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!