Premier League: Can Watford’s Fresh Faces Keep Them From Relegation

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The goal when you are near the Premier League drop zone is to stay up. It’s easier said than done. Watford is on an unbeaten run with fresh new faces, but the question is; Will it be enough?

The Hornets finished the 2018-19 Premier League campaign in a respectable 11th place. They were also finalists for the FA Cup, where they didn’t feature at all and got a merciless humiliation from Manchester City.

Over the summer, they set their heights higher. On August 8th, Watford made their most expensive buy ever, paying $34.2 million for a dynamic right-winger, Ismaila Sarr, from Ligue One club, Renne. Sarr, a 21-year-old who has played for the Senegal national team with Sadio Mane, had thirteen goals and eleven assists for Renne in 50 matches last season.

With his speed and skill set, he can play in any position in the front line, but his best position is on the right-wing. The Hornets clearly were signaling that they were willing to take a step up.

Like most family vacations, things did not go according to plan.

Watford started the season on a death spiral by going winless in their first 11 Primer League matches. This streak included six goalless matches and that 8-0 horror show at Manchester City.

Reliving their FA Cup final against the same team. This led to manager Quique Sanchez Flores to be sacked (again) at the end of November.  By that time, the Hornets had one win and five draws in 14 league games.

Their major summer signing, Ismaila Sarr, struggled with a combination of injury and adjustment issues during this period, netting only one goal. Nigel Pearson was appointed as Hornets manager on December 9th and switched tactics by changing from a 3-5-2 formation to a more attacking 4-2-3-1.

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