Five of the stars of Watford’s promotion campaign

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PA Sport Staff
·2-min read
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Watford have secured promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking after being relegated on the final day of last season.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at five key players who have taken them back and who could be significant in the Premier League next year.

Ismaila Sarr

Ismaila Sarr has scored 12 goals this season, with 10 assists
Ismaila Sarr has scored 13 goals this season, with 10 assists (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Sarr was among a number of deadline-day signings made by then-manager Javi Gracia and he has undoubtedly proved to be the most successful. The Hornets broke their record fee for the Senegal international, and despite being linked with a number of clubs the following summer when the club were relegated, including the likes of Manchester United, Sarr elected to stay at Watford. He has bagged 13 goals and led from the front.

Troy Deeney

Watford’s Troy Deeney has been at Vicarage Road for over 10 years
Watford’s Troy Deeney has been at Vicarage Road for over 10 years (Steven Paston/PA)

Deeney has been a mainstay at Watford for over 10 years, scoring 140 goals for the club. The 32-year-old has also had an impact this season as the third-highest goalscorer behind Sarr and Joao Pedro. Deeney also led his side to promotion in 2014-15 when they finished as runners up and his experience will be vital.

Tom Cleverley

Watford’s Tom Cleverley has played over 30 games for the club this season
Watford’s Tom Cleverley has played over 30 games for the club this season (Adam Davy/PA)

Despite being plagued with a number of difficult injuries since his move to Vicarage Road in the summer of 2017, Cleverley has emerged of one of Watford’s leaders. He has had one of his best seasons, fitness wise, and will no doubt have something to prove back in the big time.

Joao Pedro

Brazilian Joao Pedro has had an impressive breakout season in the Championship this season
Brazilian Joao Pedro has had an impressive breakout season in the Championship this season (Tess Derry/PA)

The Brazilian joined Watford in January 2020 after he was eventually granted a work permit, after a deal was agreed with Fluminense over a year before. The 19-year-old had a growing reputation in South America and has impressed since his move to Watford. Although limited to just five appearances without scoring in the top flight in 2019-20, the teenager has impressed in the Championship and it is clear there is more to come.

Will Hughes

Will Hughes has both Championship and Premier League experience with the club
Will Hughes has both Championship and Premier League experience with the club (Tess Derry/PA)

Hughes has been at the club since an £8million move from Derby in the summer of 2017 and holds a lot of experience. In the 2019-20 season, Hughes made 30 appearances in the top flight and could help guide the club through the transition from the Championship back to the Premier League. Hughes has seen a lot of change at the club since his move and could well be an important part of next season’s plans.