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In profile: Latest arrivals from Udinese

Italian football expert and freelance journalist Davidde Corran lets us pick his brain once more on the subject of our five new loan additions from Friuli.

Introducing defenders Joel Ekstrand and Neuton Sergio Piccoli, midfielder Critian Battocchio and attacker Fernando Forestieri...

What sort of player are we getting in Forestieri/Neuton/Ekstrand/Battocchio?

Generally Watford have got five players who have a lot of untapped potential. It appears Udinese don't feel some are ready to play for Udinese while others simply didn't fit in. Watford is a chance for these players to prove themselves. I can understand trepidation from Watford fans over these signings, but I'd point out Pozzo has a track record on this front. The truth is it's not in the owner's interests to send dud players across to Watford.

Forestieri is down as a second striker on Wikipedia (our research is in-depth if nothing else!), is this accurate? He doesn't score many...

Forestieri does indeed usually play behind a main striker. He's technically very good, likes to play on the ball.

He arrives with a decent pedigree having come through at Boca, he must be doing something right?

It's true Forestieri has impressed a number of clubs including Boca, Genoa and Udinese, but the reality is so far he's just unrealised potential. At 22-year-old he now needs to find his feet in senior football quickly.

Battocchio first trained with Newell's Old Boys' first team at 14 - high hopes for the future?

Battocchio is another creative, technically excellent player brought across from Udinese which is interesting. Battocchio is also a player who hasn't got going yet at senior level though that's not unusual as you very rarely see 20-year-olds playing in Serie A in Italy. Like Forestieri, Watford are taking a punt on Battocchio.

Neuton was one of the first names linked with us upon the Pozzo families buyout, a future Brazilian international?

In Neuton, Watford have a relatively inexperienced player who has however been involved in some pretty significant games in the matches he has played so far. In fact he got a taste of English football in the Champions League playoff against Arsenal last season. Championship football is a lot different to the pace and style of Brazil where he's played most of his time, so it's going to be a pretty significant adjustment. I'd be hopeful Neuton can succeed at Watford though.

Ekstrand, one Swedish cap, a flash in the pan or the start of an international career?

Ekstrand should be a bit more of a safe bet as he's played quite a bit of senior football. It was always going to be hard for a full-back with more defensive characteristics to adjust to playing in Udinese where they usually play with a back three. He could settle at Watford and really succeed with a more realistic opportunity for some regular football.

Davidde did have to concede that his knowledge didn't stretch as far as full-back, Jean-Alain Fanchone, the Frenchman proving hard to gather any information on if truth be told!




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The Journalist

Writer: Tom Bodell Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday September 4 2012

Time: 1:37PM

 

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