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Opinion: Watford should look to dispose of 29-year-old as Premier League promotion edges closer



The finishing line is in sight for Watford as they edge closer to promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

The Hornets were expected to be a dominant force this season with the squad they had kept together, with the likes of Ismaila Sarr and Joao Pedro expected to flourish in the second tier.

After a patchy first half to the season under Vladimir Ivic, he was replaced by the inexperienced and little-known Xisco Munoz, but he’s got the squad firing and they’re just a few wins from being back in the top flight.

The club will soon turn attentions to next season and decisions will need to be made on which players come along with them for their next chapter in the top flight (should they get there) and who gets disposed of.

And one player who hasn’t really been impressive at all this season is Andre Gray, who could be one of the casualties as the Hornets look to strengthen next season.

Gray arrived at Vicarage Road in 2017 after scoring nine goals for Burnley in his debut Premier League season, and he was expected to make the same impact in London.

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In their recent five-year spell in the Premier League what is the highest finish the Hornets achieved?

It hasn’t quite worked out that way for the 29-year-old though, who cost Watford £18.5 million and could be perhaps considered a flop.

In his three years in the Premier League for Watford, Gray scored 14 goals in 83 outings – and just twice last season in their relegation campaign – and he hasn’t fared much better back in the Championship in the current campaign.

Gray’s record in the 2020/21 season is four goals in 26 league games, and he’s started just six times in 2021 as Joao Pedro and recently Isaac Success have both been favoured ahead of him.

Still having a year left on his contract, it could prove difficult to shift Gray, especially as he will be on a Premier League wage, so the Hornets may have to keep him on the books for his final contracted season unless a top Championship team comes in for him.

But you’d imagine Watford will be trying their best to get some deadwood out of the door and Gray will probably near the top of that list as squad improvements will most definitely need to be made.

25 years old, UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, Preston North End fan

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Opinion: Watford should look to dispose of 29-year-old as Premier League promotion edges closer

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