Watford made a bold move in appointing Rob Edwards as their new head coach but it is key they follow that up by backing him in the transfer market this summer.
Ensuring he has enough forward firepower will be a key part of that and Peterborough United’s Jonson Clarke-Harris is a player they’re thought to be keen on.
That’s according to a Patreon report from Alan Nixon, who has claimed that the Hornets are keen to agree a fee for the striker and offer him a route back to the Championship.
Posh director of football Barry Fry has suggested he’s not been contacted by Watford yet and we’ve taken a look at his stats from 2021/22 to examine what he would bring if they did…
Quiz: 20 statements about former Watford players – Are they true or false?
As per Wyscout, Clarke-Harris played 3,212 minutes of Championship football for the Posh last season – starting 32 times and coming off the bench on nine occasions.
The 27-year-old bagged 12 goals, which isn’t quite the return he will have been hoping for and is slightly below his xG of 12.7 but when you consider he was playing for the third-lowest scorers in the division (43 goals in 46 games), it is a reasonable tally.
He’s not a player that’s going to contribute a huge amount as a creator in the final third – as his 17 shot assists, three assists, and 1.77 xA indicate – nor is he someone that’s going to drive the team forward with the ball at his feet – as his 11 total progressive runs show – but Clarke-Harris is always a threat in and around the penalty area.
If an opportunity arrises, he will do all he can to get himself on the end of it or create space for a shot. That is backed up by the fact he averages 2.91 touches in the opposition box and 2.45 shots (42.4% on target) per 90.
He offers a physical presence up top as well, averaging 11.73 offensive duels (36.1% won), and though he’s not the tallest striker averages an impressive 15.7 aerial duels per game (40.6% won).
Given Watford will want to challenge for promotion next season and Clarke-Harris has spent most of his career below the Championship, relying on him as their first-choice number nine would be a bit of a risk.
But Vakoun Issouf Bayo has already joined the club and there is talk that Edwards wants to add a proven striker like Dwight Gayle to the squad as well, which would lessen the load on the Peterborough man.
As his Championship numbers from last season show, there’s no doubt that his poaching instincts and physical attributes could make him a useful addition to Edwards’ squad.