Watford have managed to establish themselves in the Premier League following their promotion to the top flight under Slavisa Jokanovic.

The Hornets avoided relegation last season after ending in the 17th place of the table while a year earlier they were 13th, reaching the FA Cup semi-finals.

However, it is clear that not everything has been smooth during this period as both Quique Sanchez Flores and Walter Mazzarri were shown the exit door only at the end of both seasons.

It seems the Watford board are looking for something else and they have so appointed the coveted Marco Silva to take them to the next step.

The Hornets have signed seven players to help the Portuguese boss in the form of Andre Gray (Burnley), Brazil under 20 international Richarlison, Tom Cleverley (Everton), Will Hughes (Derby County) Daniel Bachmann (Stoke City) Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea) and Kiko Femenia (Alaves).

The arrival of 26-year-old Gray from a direct rival for a club record deal said to worth around £18.5m is a decent statement of the club's intent ahead of the new season. But can the latest band of new signings be fused together?

Last season

Premier League: 17th

FA Cup: Fourth round

EFL Cup: Second round

Champions League: Round of 16

Manager – Marco Silva

The Portuguese tactician took over Mike Phelan at Hull City in January after garnering a big reputation at Olympiako and Sporting Lisbon.

Jose Mourinho's compatriot had a promising start to the life with Tigers but eventually failed to prevent relegation to the Championship. Yet, having taken over with the club bottom of the Premier League he actually emerges from the experience with plenty of credit.

Indeed, Silva was a manager in demand this summer before he opted to take the Watford job to enjoy a second opportunity in the Premier League. Now, he will have to prove at Vicarage Road that his brief success last year was not a one-off.

Key player – Andre Gray

Gray scored 33 goals in 78 appearances for Burnley following his £9m arrival at Turf Moorfrom Brentford in the summer of 2015, being crucial in Sean Dyche's side achieving promotion to the Premier League two seasons ago.

Watford have paid more than the double to get him now – despite having just 12 months remaining on his contract – and the Hornets fans will be hoping that his contribution will also increase considerably.

At 26 he is at the perfect age to take a step forward and form a fearsome partnership alongside Troy Deeney at Vicarage Road. Improving the nine goals in 32 Premier League appearances that he got last term should be a must.


Signings such us Gray or Chalobah from Chelsea suggest that Watford can improve the record from the last two seasons. However, there can be few guarantees for a club who have had eight different managers since the Pozzo family took over in five years ago.

IBT prediction – 16th

Silva still needs to improve his defence but he should be able to match Sanchez Flores and Mazzarri by keeping the Hornets in the top flight.

Marco Silva
Marco Silva has already made seven additions during the summer transfer window. Reuters