Watford boss Walter Mazzarri has confirmed new signing M'baye Niang is available to face Arsenal on Tuesday night (31 January) following his recent arrival from AC Milan. However, Mauro Zarate remains unavailable through suspension while the Italian boss revealed that Costel Pantilimon is also set to be out of action for up to four weeks after suffering an injury during the 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Millwall.
Niang agreed a loan move to Watford last week but didn't feature against Millwall after failing to receive international clearance in time. However, Mazzarri has claimed that the France Under-21 international is now available and could play a part in the Premier League trip to Arsenal.
"He is available," Mazzarri said in the press conference when asked about the AC Milan loanee. "He will come with us. He hasn't been training a lot with the team. He is a player we can utilise. He has great qualities and it's important he gets in a good environment.
"He has great running qualities, great technique and if he understands our mechanisms he can be a great player for us. He is perfect for the Premier League."
The visit to the Emirates Stadium will come still too early for another January signing as Zarate is still suspended from a red card picked up while playing with Fiorentina in Italy.
Meanwhile, Mazzarri reported that Pantilimon faces a month spell on the sidelines after being forced off and replaced by Heurelho Gomes during the timid defeat to Millwall.
"It seems he has got three or four weeks out of the game," Mazzarri revealed ahead of a crucial run of fixtures which that see Watford visiting Arsenal before facing Burnley, Manchester United and West Ham.
Gomes was expected to start in the league as Mazzarri returns to his strongest line-up against Arsenal after he made wholesale changes in the FA Cup. The Italian has defended his decision following the elimination while urging his side to react to the disappointment in the visit to the Emirates Stadium.
"You have to make a decision and think about the Premier League. It's a matter of logic knowing that after two days we have an important game," the Watford boss said as quoted by Sky Sports. "When you don't win, of course you always reflect on different possibilities.
"Due to our situation, given injuries and that there are just two days until the next game, the manager makes the decision of putting the best possible team out in that moment," Mazzarri added.
"We have to react immediately. We have the chance to do it and obtain as soon as possible our first objective. This is what I wanted to say. We want to do it in the most positive manner."