Why Tobias Pachonik would be an underwhelming signing for Watford
This is not the first time, though, that the Hornets have been credited with an interest in the 24-year-old right-back.
Back in March 2018, a report from the Watford Observer mentioned that the Hornets were among several clubs monitoring the defender, who was plying his trade with Carpi in the Italian Serie B at that time.
Elf Voetbal understands that Watford, as well as Sampdoria, are looking at Tobias Pachonik as a potential option in January due to the fact that the defender has a low release clause in his contract with Dutch outfit VVV-Venlo, which runs until the summer of 2022.
Born in Germany, Pachonik rose through the youth ranks of FC Nurnberg, although he made only a handful of appearances in the first-team.
Having failed to make the grade at his boyhood club, the 24-year-old spent time with the club’s reserve side in the lower divisions before and also had a loan stint at Stuttgarter Kickers before joining Schalke.
That, however, didn’t spark any remarkable turnaround in his fortunes and Pachonik made 33 appearances for the Schalke’s reserve team before completing a move to Carpi in the Italian second-tier.
The German’s spell in Serie B proved to be a fruitful one, as the 24-year-old established himself as a regular and made 72 appearances over the course of a couple of seasons before earning a move to VVV-Venlo in the Dutch Eredivisie this summer.
Pachonik has made a bright start to life at his new club, starting each of their first nine league fixtures this term and his decent run of form has prompted Watford to continue monitoring his progress.
With Watford still without a win in the Premier League and bottom of the standings after nine games, January reinforcements are likely to be a priority for new manager Quique Sanchez Flores.
They are currently struggling in all departments and it remains to be seen which areas the Spaniard prioritises during the mid-season trading period.
Having conceded as many as 20 goals thus far, the Hornets have the second-worst defensive record in the division and, while it is true that 8 of those goals were shipped in that ignominious 8-0 defeat against Man City, probably any fan at Vicarage Road would acknowledge the fact that the team is crying out for a total freshening up of the options at the back.
To that end, Watford’s interest in Tobias Pachonik certainly makes sense but that is not really the case when one takes a look at his profile.
The right-back is only playing his first season at the highest level at lowly VVV-Venlo in the Eredivisie at the ripe age of 24, having featured in the second and third tiers in Germany and Italy in his previous years.
Indeed, neither Kiko Femenia nor Daryl Janmaat has done enough to justify their selection at right-back but, if Watford are really planning a defensive overhaul in January, they might as well look at players who could potentially be an upgrade on their existing options at the back.
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With all due respect to Pachonik, it doesn’t look like he could add anything extra to what Watford already have and, given that their current position in the league standings doesn’t really call for playing gambles on little-known players, the Hornets should start looking at more established options in the market.
Suffice to say, playing a gamble on Tobias Pachonik is something that Watford can ill-afford during such a dire crisis and they would only dig a bigger hole for themselves if the move backfires.