Why Watford should go all out to sign Bastos from Lazio in January
Back in July, reliable Evening Standard journalist Simon Collings had claimed that Watford were interested in signing Lazio defender Bastos. However, no deal materialised in the summer.
Bastos, 27, joined Lazio from FC Rostov in 2016 but hasn’t been able to nail down a place in the starting XI. He has struggled with injuries and inconsistency since arriving at the club, with the centre-back managing just 18 league appearances last season.
The 27-year-old has made just three Serie A appearances this season, although he has played all three Europa League games for Lazio till now.
With Bastos struggling to get regular game time in Serie A, Watford must rekindle their interest and attempt to sign him during the January transfer window.
They have leaked goals for fun, with Manchester City putting 8 past them at the Etihad last month. Quique Sanchez Flores, however, has tightened the team up at home turf by deploying a five-man backline.
The system of three central defenders with two wing-backs has ensured successive home 0-0 draws against Sheffield United and Bournemouth.
Regardless of the Hornets tightening up the screws in the last few weeks, the matter of fact is that Flores needs better quality defenders than those he currently has at his disposal.
If Watford are to avoid relegation from top-flight, defensive reinforcements are an absolute must in January. To put things straight, the Hornets must bring in Bastos to fix their defensive problems.
Bastos is a reliable defender. So far this season in all competitions, the Angolan has achieved a pass success rate of 88.3% which clearly tells how comfortable he is on the ball.
The 27-year-old is an excellent tackler, with 2.7 tackles and 1.3 interceptions in the Europa League clearly justifying that. He has also averaged 1.7 blocks and 2.3 clearances. [Courtesy: WhoScored.com]
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Those aforementioned stats establish that Bastos is a really tough-tackling, robust and strong defender who could indeed make a difference at Watford.
Thus, Watford must make a January swoop for Bastos, who has the potential to make an immediate impact in the Premier League and help Flores’ club avoid relegation.