Watford opinion: Should the Hornets make a move for Birger Verstraete?
Belgian news outlet HLN has reported that Watford have entered the race for KRC Genk star Birger Verstraete next summer. The Hornets are looking for reinforcements and thus believe that the Belgian midfielder is their man.
A defensive midfielder by trade, Verstraete has spent most of his career in and around Belgium. The 25-year-old has finally found his footing after moving to a host of clubs, with him managing to make an impact at KAA Genk.
He joined the club in the winter of 2017 and has since consistently played in both the league and the cup competitions. Birger Verstraete has European experience to his name, playing just under 10 games in the Europa League.
It shows just how valuable the 25-year-old is at the club and why Watford should consider a move in the future.
The Hornets need midfielders, but what they need more than that is a defensive midfielder. At the moment, manager Javi Gracia only has both Etienne Capoue and Nathaniel Chalobah at his disposal.
While Capoue has played regularly, Chalobah has struggled this season and only found his footing in the Premier League recently. This has caused a few problems and to make things even worse, Abdoulaye Doucoure has been linked with a move away (Daily Mail).
This would leave the club without a proper box-to-box midfielder and that is an even bigger problem.
However, that isn’t to say that Birger Verstraete can replace Doucoure because the 25-year-old is not a box-to-box midfielder. Instead, where Verstraete would do his best work is in place of Etienne Capoue.
The former Tottenham man is 30 years old and has often struggled to keep up with the pace of the Premier League. That has caused a few more problems for Watford and is one of the reasons why the club have to consider a move for Birger Verstraete.
The 25-year-old has a long career ahead of him and if his performances this season are anything to go by, he can certainly make an impact at Vicarage Road. Furthermore, the fact that his contract expires at the end of next season does give Watford a slight advantage in the negotiations.
It allows the Hornets to bring down the transfer fee and thus allow them to save a little extra money.
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Birger Verstraete is not a world-class midfielder but instead, he is a defensive midfielder with rather incredible stamina and aggression. That’s what makes him perfect for both Watford and the Premier League, which is why a move should take place.