Watford Opinion: Why the Hornets should make a move for Kieran Gibbs?
Back in August 2017, the Sky Sports claimed Watford were interested in signing Kieran Gibbs from Arsenal but failed to agree personal terms with the defender. Gibbs eventually ended up signing for West Brom two years ago.
Kieran Gibbs, 29, left Arsenal following a 13-year spell in north London, where he made 229 appearances in all competitions. He has been a decent performer at West Brom since joining from the Gunners in 2017, although he couldn’t help the Midlands club achieve promotion to the top-flight at the first time of asking last season.
The left-back has a contract at the Hawthorns until 2021 and is expected to be a part of new manager Slaven Bilic’s future plans. Regardless of that, Watford should reignite their interest in Gibbs this summer.
Watford looked set for a top-eight finish in 2018/19, only for three defeats and a draw in the last five games saw them end in 11th place. Javi Gracia would be content with his team’s improvement but will be aiming for a top-half finish next term. For that to happen he’ll need to bring in some new players and that too very quickly.
The Hornets conceded 59 goals in 38 games last time out, with none of the defenders taking responsibility and proving their worth. While Gracia has addressed the defensive problem by signing Craig Dawson, he must raid West Brom again for Kieran Gibbs.
Jose Holebas turned 35 last month and isn’t the quickest of left-backs he once was in his prime. Adam Masina managed only 14 Premier League outings in his debut season at Vicarage Road after joining from Bologna last summer. As Holebas has entered the twilight of his career, Gracia could do a good job by signing an upgrade on the Greek.
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Gibbs would be a smart fit at Watford. Joining the Hornets would allow Gibbs to play at the top level and potentially resurrect his England career in the process – his last England appearance coming back in 2015. After failing to achieve promotion with West Brom, the 29-year-old would be tempted on a return to the top tier this summer. He is a Premier League proven material and would be a top signing for the Hornets.
West Brom may also feel that selling Gibbs would help a lot in terms of finances, so they may not want to keep the player for another year. Watford should take advantage of the Baggies’ financial crunch and sign the left-back.