Sheffield United are the Hornets’ first opposition upon their return to the second tier, which should provide Watford with a real stern test and give them a good indication of where they are at as they start the season.
Transfer activity at Vicarage Road has been rather limited in terms of incomings, though.
So far, the club have made just three new summer signings – forwards Vakoun Bayo and Rey Manaj, and goalkeeper Ben Hamer.
Former Spanish international Mario Gaspar is set to be the fourth arrival in WD18 with Kiko Femenia set to depart, however, there is another key area of the pitch that Watford are desperately lacking.
That position is left-centre-back.
Prior to the weekend, this wasn’t necessarily a pressing area of concern for the Hornets, however, reports then began to link Watford’s left-footed central defender Samir with a move away from Vicarage Road.
They first broke via journalist Nicolo Schira, who reported that Samir could be returning to Serie A, with Verona and Monza interested in the defender.
His steps towards a Vicarage Road exit was then confirmed by Hornets boss Rob Edwards when he told the Watford Observer: “Yes there’s a chance now that Samir will be sold and move on.”
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If Samir’s exit is confirmed, the club are left without a natural choice at left-centre-back, and the club must address this as soon as possible.
Given that it looks as though Rob Edwards is going to deploy a similar shape to the one he used at Forest Green, that position is a very important one.
Generally at FGR, the left-sided centre-back – often Bailly Cargill – was the one tasked with being the main ball player out from the back and getting the ball moving forwards.
As such, the fact that Watford do not currently have another left-footed central defender on the books is a huge issue with the new season looming.
A right-footed player could obviously play there, but, this potentially makes the team unbalanced, with said defender, if not strong on their weak foot, unable to build an attack out to the left in certain scenarios, for example.
As such, with just over a month of the season to go, the left-sided central defensive position is one Watford must surely target in the coming weeks.
To not do so would be to do their head coach Rob Edwards, and the club’s chances this season, a huge disservice.