Championship top three team, Watford, are mounting a serious challenge for automatic promotion straight back to the Barclays Premier League, and to that purpose they will utilise the services of Domingos Quina and Jeremy Ngakia, both youth players 'filched' by the Hornets from West Ham United.
Ngakia and Quina have a combined value of £4.5 Million according to Transfer market, and are undoubtedly good signings for the Hertfordshire club, however the various Watford managers, and let's face it they have had a few, desire to freshen up their respective squads meant that there was no need for an 'old cart horse' like Craig 'Les' Dawson.
'Les' arrived at Watford from West Brom on the 1st of July 2019 for a fee of £5.4 Million, signing a four-year contract. He scored his first goal for the club on 20 June 2020, An overhead kick against Leicester City. Dawson made 29 appearances for Watford in the 2019–20 season as they were relegated to the Championship. At the start of the 2020–21 season, and with the appointment of new manager, Vladimir Ivić, his selection for the team became less likely following the signings of Francisco Sierralta and William Troost-Ekong.
Surplus to requirements at Vicarage Road, Dawson was surprisingly signed on loan by David Moyes as an 'alternative' to the outrageously over priced James Tarkowski from Burnley, it is fair to say that 'Les's' arrival was greeted with a chorus of disapproval, after all he had earned the nick name of 'the relegator' due to the fact that first the Baggies, and then the Hornets were both relegated 'on his watch'.
The terms of the loan deal gave Hammers the option to make the deal permanent after a certain amount of games, and at the BARGAIN price of £2.5 Million! The powers that be at Watford must be kicking themselves for their decision, how much is 'Les' worth now?
It should be remembered that Dawson averaged a goal every eight games throughout his senior career, he has continued in a rich vein of form by scoring FOUR goals already while playing for the Irons, the 6'2" defender is part of 'the Moyes assault team' when it comes to set pieces, his contribution has helped West Ham become the most feared opponents from set plays for the opposition in the entire Barclays Premier League!
David Moyes had this to say regarding making 'Les's" move permanent. "I think there's a good chance but we're not quite there yet," he said. "There is a clause there [by which we can purchase him] after a certain amount of games and we're getting very close to that number. His performances, his attitude and determination are certainly worthy of that anyway. We brought him in and it took him until the Southampton game before he got starts but that was because oif the form of Fabian Balbuena and Angelo Ogbonna. He's come in and he's added goals to us as well. His experience has been really important and he's playing really well this season at the moment."
Dawson is no spring chicken at 30 years old, but he has at least a couple of good years in him, and at the fee he is available for, his acquisition is a 'no brainer'. It might sound a bit 'yeah man', but there is a certain amount of Karma involved here, Watford nick a couple of Hammers potential starlets, and the Irons got an old warrior hell bent on showing how 'an old dog' can learn new tricks. - Ed