Watford Braced For Significant Transfer Battle

Watford are bracing themselves for a blow this summer, as 20-year-old Yaser Asprilla is targetted by Premier League clubs.

According to reports in the print edition of the Mirror (via Give Me Sport), both Arsenal and Everton want to take the winger to the Premier League. He registered 11 goal involvements over the course of last season and is currently playing for his country, Colombia, in the Copa America tournament.

The youngster is about to enter the final season of his contract at Vicarage Road, and that’s led to suggestions the fee could be as low as £15 million for the Premier League clubs. That is still higher than his valuation on Transfermarkt, which is as low as £7.6 million.

Asprilla, who has scored twice for his country in six outings, began his youth career at Envigado FC, where he made 40 senior appearances as a teenager. That caught the eye of Watford, and he initially joined on loan in early 2022. A few months later, he made the move permanent, and the fee is believed to be around £3 million.

However, the Premier League clubs may be made to wait for another season, as it has been reported that Watford have ‘no intention’ of selling their star man. The Watford Observer reported that only an ‘eye-watering‘ sum would tempt manager Tom Cleverly to sanction an exit, the sort of sum that could give the Hornets serious spending power of their own as they hunt a place in the Premier League.

“In our position everyone has a price,” he said. “But there are players we’ve discussed and I’ve voiced my opinion that I’d fight a lot more to keep.

“We’re very streamlined about how we want to look as a team, and with a great pre-season under our belts then we will look a different team to the last nine games of the season just gone.

“I see certain individuals really playing a part in that, and I would really like to keep them.”

Cleverly could only steer the Hornets to 15th last season, their second consecutive campaign outside the top flight. They haven’t had three back-to-back seasons in the second tier since 2015, and they’ll be hoping to make sure they don’t endure a fourth in 2025/26.

Writer’s View

Cleverly clearly wants to keep his star man, and even if he did leave on a ‘free’ next summer, there would be a fee due as he would still be under 23.

One wonders what an acceptable fee for the player might be. £15 million sounds like a lot of money, but it’s nowhere near the reported £140 million a Premier League promotion brings.

Watford won’t want to lose a player with such a big impact, especially as he isn’t agitating for a move. With club and player in harmony, only a big bid could prise him away, and it feels like £15 million might not be enough.


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