Watford Opinion: Hornets should consider cutting their losses on Stefano Okaka and accept Galatasaray’s offer
According to Watford Observer, Watford striker Stefano Okaka is the subject of interest from Turkish champions Galatasaray, with reports claiming that the Super Lig heavyweights are prepared to offer £2.5 million for the 29-year-old.
However, Watford Observer understands that the Hornets are holding out for a better offer to be put on the table, which might as well put Galatasaray off in their pursuit of the 4-cap Italian international.
Okaka made only a couple of substitute appearances for Watford in the Premier League this past season before sealing a return to his native Italy with Udinese on a 6-month loan deal back in January.
The 29-year-old’s return to the Serie A saw him rack up some top-notch performances in the second half of the campaign, with the striker netting 6 goals in 16 appearances to propel Udinese to a 12th-place finish in the top-flight.
The 29-year-old’s spell at Vicarage Road might have proved to be an ill-fated one but he managed to somewhat breathe life into his faltering career on his on loan stint at Udinese. His stocks are currently on the rise and his return to form has most probably prompted Galatasaray to pursue an interest in the Italian centre-forward.
Okaka, who made his move to the Premier League with Watford from Anderlecht back in the summer of 2016, netted 4 goals in 19 league outings for the Hornets in his debut season.
However, frequent managerial changes at the club, coupled with his inability to nail down a regular starting role, has pushed the Italian down the pecking order and he was hardly used by Javi Gracia last season.
The 29-year-old former Roma and Sampdoria forward has a rather unimpressive strike rate at Vicarage Road, having only netted 5 times in 39 appearances across all competitions.
It is pretty apparent from those figures that things haven’t fallen into place for him at Watford and, in all honesty, 5 goals in 30 outings isn’t a lot to write home about in any league for that matter.
To put things into perspective, it is highly unlikely that Stefano Okaka would go on to play a significant role in the first-team next term, given that Gracia hardly showed any kind of trust in the Italian in the first half of the previous campaign.
And it would be shocking to see a managerial change at Vicarage Road this summer following such an overly successful season on all fronts, meaning that the 29-year-old apparently doesn’t stand a chance of competing for any kind of role up front.
Okaka has proven himself to be a decent striker in the Serie A over the years, while his stint at Anderlecht also yielded a lot of positive returns. However, he just hasn’t shown enough dynamism and consistency in his game to much make of a difference in the Premier League.
Also, Watford are already well-stocked in their striking options and, given that the likes of Troy Deeney and Gerard Deulofeu hit top gear last season, one would not expect Gracia to experiment too much by giving Okaka a run in the first-team.
The Hornets also have Andre Gray as more than a decent back-up option, so it is not difficult to see why Okaka is surplus to demands.
Keeping that in mind, it is high time to move away from the mediocrity of the Italian and Gracia would probably do the right thing by integrating the likes of Dodi Lukebakio and Cucho Hernandez into his plans for the upcoming season, given that the loanees did exceptionally well in the Bundesliga and La Liga respectively the last term.
Hence, it hardly makes sense for Watford to play hardball in the negotiations with Galatasaray and they would be better off cutting their losses on the Italian international.
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Moreover, he is already 29 and Watford are unlikely to get much resale value for the player if they opt to keep him on their payroll or loan him out for yet another campaign.
Having said that, the Hornets should not hesitate to accept Galatasaray’s £2.5 million offer for Stefano Okaka.