Watford have confirmed that they’ve secured the signature of Rochdale teenager Kwadwo Baah, in which the League One side have described as an ‘undisclosed six-figure fee’.
After playing for Crystal Palace’s academy as a young teen, Baah linked up with Dale in 2019 and not long after signing a scholarship contract, he made his first-team debut in the EFL Trophy in October that year and made his league debut two months later.
Baah made 30 league appearances for the relegated League One side this season and came to the attention of many after bagging a brace against Charlton Athletic in January, but his first Rochdale goal came weeks prior against Wigan.
They were the only three goals he scored in the league during the campaign and he appeared sporadically towards the end of the season, but the 18-year-old was always destined to move on from Rochdale at the end of this season.
A move to Manchester City heavily suggested back in February but the deal reportedly broke down at the medical stage – Watford have now capitalised to add Baah to their ranks on a five-year deal.
It’s unclear as to whether Baah will link-up with the senior squad ahead of the Hornets’ return to the Premier League, but it’s more likely that he’d start off in the under-23 side.
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This is a quality pick-up for Watford, who in recent years have been more used to bringing in young talent from South America and all across the continent.
Baah has shown promise for Rochdale but he’s by no means the finished article, and his lack of game-time towards the end of the season suggests that Brian Barry-Murphy was trying to protect him ahead of his impending summer departure.
That’s now been confirmed as happening and considering the kind of teams that were being linked with him at the start of 2021, including City, Juventus and Bayern Munich, it must be seen as a coup for Watford to bring him in.