One of the more notable imports of the Udinese-Watford partnership that derives from the Pozzo Family’s ownership of both clubs, Almen Abdi was a player who impressed heavily during his time at Vicarage Road.
Initially arriving at the Hertfordshire club on loan from their Italian counterparts, Abdi found his early few months with the then Championship side plagued with injury before he really began to hit form under the management of Gianfranco Zola.
Goals came in abundance for the dynamic midfielder as racked up an impressive 12 goals in the league as the Hornets just missed out on promotion to the Premier League at Wembley against Crystal Palace in the Championship play-offs.
Developing a knack for scoring goals from central midfield was nothing new for the Watford man as he had excelled in that department previously during his early career at boyhood club, FC Zurich in his adoptive nation, Switzerland.
During his first campaign with Watford, the player expressed his desire to make the move permanent after becoming a firm fan favourite amongst supporters for his all action displays.
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He got his wish. In July 2013 the move was completed and Abdi signed a three-year deal with the side he had grown so fond of. However, disaster was just around the corner.
The Serbian-born midfield player was sidelined for several months by plantar fasciitis, a severe foot disease which kept him out of action for the best part of half a season, thus leading to him losing his place in the starting eleven and therefore slipping down the pecking order.
Despite this setback, Abdi would go on to play a role in the club’s eventual promotion to the Premier League and would go on to turn out for the Hornets on 32 occasions in the top flight season of 2015/16 before departing for Sheffield Wednesday.
His injury problems would go on to resurface during his time with the Owls and in the end he was released as a free agent at the end of the 2018/19 season after making just 23 appearances during two seasons with the club.
Now aged 34, he has now hung up his boots after a career which spanned numerous countries and saw him rack up over 390 appearances. Almen Abdi is a name which won’t be forgotten by Watford and Wednesday fans alike.