Why Watford parting ways with Dimitri Foulquier makes perfect sense
According to the Watford Observer, Watford have sanctioned a loan deal to allow Dimitri Foulquier to join La Liga outfit, Granada, until the end of the ongoing season, with the Spanish side holding the option to make his stay permanent in the summer.
The 26-year-old made only five appearances for the Hornets during the first half of the campaign under three different managers and started only once in the Premier League, although he did start in the League Cup defeat away at Everton.
Foulquier, who arrived at Vicarage Road from Granada back in the summer of 2017, had to wait for more than two years to make his league debut for Watford but he was substituted after just 33 minutes in an eventual 8-0 hammering at the hands of Man City back in September.
The former French U21 international was immediately loaned out to Strasbourg in the French top-flight for the entirety of the 2017-18 campaign upon his arrival at Watford while he spent the previous campaign on loan at Getafe in the La Liga.
The versatile full-back was retained by Javi Gracia this past summer with a view to some first-team action but with Gino Pozzo pulling the trigger on the Spaniard early in the campaign, Foulquier found himself gathering dust at Vicarage Road more often than not.
Nigel Pearson, who took over the reins from Quique Sanchez Flores last month, turned a blind eye to Foulquier’s presence in the squad despite Watford’s ongoing crisis at right-back due to the injury to Daryl Janmaat.
Meanwhile, Watford romped home to an impressive 2-1 victory over Wolves at Vicarage Road on New Year’s Day, thanks to goals from Gerard Deulofeu and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
Having beaten Man United and Aston Villa in recent weeks, the Hornets have registered three wins in their last four league games and they are now just a couple of points adrift of safety.
Pearson, who masterminded Leicester City’s bid for survival back during the 2014-15 season when the Foxes had been reeling at the bottom of the table midway through the campaign, has definitely made a positive impression since taking over the reins at Watford.
Having spent heavily to bring in Ismaila Sarr from Rennes back in the summer, it remains to be seen what kind of an approach Pozzo adopts during the January window, with Watford in dire need of some reinvestment to boost their chances of survival.
The Hornets, though, have a big enough squad, with plenty of players out on loan in various leagues across Europe and Pearson needs to make a decision on the futures of some of the fringe stars to free up space for fresh recruits.
To that end, Watford parting ways with Dimitri Foulquier certainly seems like a step in the right direction, given that he has never really been in the mix since joining the Hornets in 2017. The 26-year-old has found himself farmed out on loan more often than not and his departure doesn’t come as a big surprise.
With Pearson opting to rely on the likes of Adrian Mariappa and Craig Dawson as makeshift options at right-back despite Foulquier’s presence, the writing seemed to be on the wall for the versatile full-back. A return to Watford’s sister club, Granada, could help him get his career back in track.
With Jose Holebas nearing the twilight of his career, Janmaat struggling with injuries and Adam Masina not proving his worth, Watford definitely need depth and quality in both full-back departments. Foulquier’s departure should free up some valuable space for new arrivals.
Foulquier’s career at Watford never really took off and it is pretty clear that his future lies elsewhere, given that Pearson never showed any interest in accommodating him into his plans.
The 26-year-old is still very much in his prime and his prospects of playing regularly certainly look better at Granada, the club where he initially shot to prominence.
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That said, Watford’s decision to part ways with Dimitri Foulquier looks like a fair settlement for all parties involved and few would rue his departure from Vicarage Road.