Scout Report – Getting To Know €16m-rated Watford Target Josef de Souza
Watford FC are planning a bid for Fenerbahce ace Josef de Souza after the deal collapsed in the previous transfer window. Earlier, the Hornets offered €12m, which was turned down as the Turkish club are demanding a bigger amount of €16m.
De Souza has played 24 matches this season, missing just one league game. He has been a formidable figure in midfield and hence, has attracted clubs from England. West Brom too, were linked with him but the move did not happen due to him not having a European passport. Moreover, Watford are sweating over Doucoure’s future, who is wanted by a number of clubs.
Who Is This 29-year-old?
Josef de Souza rose through the Vasco da Gama ranks since joining in 1998 as a kid. After 10 years of excellence and hard work, he earned a senior team call-up in 2008 but made his debut only in 2009. He helped his side to Brazil’s top tier with some impressive performances, scoring a couple of goals in 18 league appearances.
The following season, he was scouted and transferred to Portuguese giants Porto, where he won a domestic double and the Europa League. Next season, he fell out of favour and was loaned back to Brazil, where he featured for Gremio. He made 118 appearances for them in the course of just two seasons, after which the midfielder moved to Sao Paulo.
For Clube da Fe, he made 45 appearances and contributed with 6 goals. In the 2015-16 season, he was bought by Turkish club Fenerbahce and since then, has been a solid figure for them, having featured 91 times and chipped in with 10 goals.
Style Of Play
First and foremost, de Souza is one of the most versatile footballers around. He can play as a centre-half, right-back, defensive midfielder, central midfielder and if required, as an attacking playmaker too. Mostly, he was used as a defender but for his current club, the 29-year-old is working wonders in the holding midfield position, much like a Michael Carrick.
He sits back, dictates the play, stands firm in the midfield and tries to block the passing channels. In possession, he is very steady and has a sound technique with the ball. He tackles extremely well, uses his strength well and is a handy player to have in the box.
Worth The Fuss?
Yes, certainly. For the amount of work rate and the tackling edge he provides, Watford must go for him. Apart from Doucoure, we have not seen much from the other midfielders at Vicarage Road, especially from the likes of Etienne Capoue, who has been overshadowed by his compatriot.
If Watford sign De Souza and he ends up filling the boots of Doucoure next season (if the influential midfielder departs), the Hornets could be in for another successful finish in the PL.