Why Geoffrey Kondogbia can be a marquee signing for Watford in January
According to an earlier report from the Daily Star, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur were interested in signing Geoffrey Kondogbia from his former club Inter Milan. However, no move materialised and Kondogbia joined Valencia on a permanent deal after a season-long loan stint.
The 25-year-old has played for a number of top clubs across Europe after making his professional debut for Ligue 1 outfit Lens back in the 2010/11 season.
Kondogbia made a name for himself as a defensive midfielder playing for Sevilla and subsequently made a move to the Serie A with Inter Milan where he spent a couple of seasons before being loaned out to Valencia. After impressing on his loan spell, Valencia signed him permanently in the summer of 2017.
Standing at 6ft 2in with a towering frame, Kondogbia is exceptionally quick and agile for a player of his size. Essentially a defensive midfielder, Kondogbia is quick on his feet and covers a lot of ground to control the proceedings in the central areas of the park.
The Central African midfielder is at his best when deployed as a shield for the rearguard. An excellent reader of the game, Kondogbia is adept at breaking up the play with tackles and interceptions to win back possession for his team.
He lays a lot of emphasis on his positioning and restrains himself from bursting forward with pace after winning back possession.
A player blessed with a good tackling technique, the 25-year-old rarely mistimes his tackles and has shown a lot of improvement in the disciplinary aspect of his game. He has an impressive range of passing and also excels with his distribution, allowing him to dictate the tempo of the game from a deep position in the midfield.
Kondogbia averages 40.7 passes per game with an accuracy of 85.8%, including 3.8 successful long balls per game. Furthermore, he averages 2.4 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game in the La Liga this term, figures which speak volumes about his all-around ability as a central midfielder.
He is also a very good dribbler and can contribute to the attack when the need arises, a trait not too common among defensive midfielders.
To put things into perspective, Watford should start pursuing a keen interest in the midfield general. The Hornets currently sit 11th in the Premier League standings with 6 wins from 15 games, not where they would have expected to see themselves after winning each of their first four games this season.
Quite clearly, Javi Gracia’s men have lost the momentum and they have to do something special to get into the top six. And bringing in a mega-money marquee signing in January would definitely boost their chances of securing a Europa League spot next season.
Abdoulaye Doucoure and Etienne Capoue have done a good job for the Hornets in central midfield but a player like Geoffrey Kondogbia would not only be an upgrade on them but would also be a massive boost to the squad depth and team dynamics.
Having someone like Kondogbia would also provide Javi Gracia with the luxury of using Doucoure in a more advanced role. Watford already have a few high-profile names like Gerard Deulofeu and Roberto Pereyra in their ranks and Kondogbia can be the next jewel in their crown.
Watford should break the bank and go all out to land the highly-rated midfielder in January.