A Dark Side To The Pozzo Family?

A Dark Side To The Pozzo Family?
Aug 29, 2016


Before Watford started their second consecutive year in the top flight, it was announced that under-21 players George Byers, Josh Doherty, Matt Hall, Uche Ikpeazu, Jorell Johnson, Mahlondo Martin, Bernard Mensah, Luke Simpson and Alfie Young had all been released. As the hectic summer transfer window will be shut come Thursday, it has made me realise that letting go of all under-21 players excluding Scotsman Alex Jakubiak, was the wrong decision.


The Premier League is arguably the most competitive league in the world, but in terms of quality, it is hard to keep up with leagues like La Liga. Because of this, teams in the Premier League have to look abroad if they want to maintain a standard high enough to reach their expectations, as there are very few English players available to cater for 20 teams with a club only allowed to have 17 foreign players.


This leads to English players and ‘homegrown’ players worth twice the value of their true footballing ability. If Watford are able to buy Roberto Pereyra for 5 million pounds less than Bournemouth managed to buy Jordan Ibe for, we clearly should be putting our faith into our academy players.


Watford have had some successful academy graduates in the past including Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Young. Watford received more than £4 million Britt’s transfers to Peterborough and Nottingham Forest and received just over £9 million for Ashley Young. If Watford produced a player half as good as Young, Gino Pozzo could be looking at a higher transfer fee.


It is also not like the players aren’t good enough. Byers has been signed by fellow Premier League club Swansea City, so why wasn’t Byers signed? Since the Pozzo family have taken over, Watford’s academy has declined, despite Udinese having an admirable academy.


It doesn’t just come down to the lack of players signed from the academy, it’s also a case of not playing the youngsters signed. Alex Jakubiak is undoubtedly Watford’s brightest prospect signed from the academy, yet he’s only played one game and that was over three years ago. The Pozzo’s are not willing to play homegrown players ahead of players like Isaac Success where they have paid £12.5 million for.


It is for these reasons that I think should Watford football club should take more of a risk in signing and playing the youngsters devolved – as the rewards could be massive…

  1. Use of academy players is disappointing but the last crop have sadly not been good enough. All signed up before Pozzo’s took over and failed to impress in the U21 league last season. Ikpeazu moaned about lack of chance but gone to Cambridge, says it all.

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