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3 players Javi Gracia could sign for Watford before the transfer window closes

Friday 26th January 2018

There was an element of surprise when Watford sacked Marco Silva last week. The Portuguese was immediately replaced by Spanish boss Javi Gracia. The former Osasuna, Malaga and Rubin Kazan manager has never experienced English football first-hand. He faces the challenge of galvanising the Hornets, a team on the slide. 

Silva did a reasonable job at Watford, but he lost the dressing room after being approached by Everton. All eyes now turn to the new man in charge. Gracia needs reinforcements, though. He must make some signings to help lift the mood around Vicarage Road.  

Here are three players Gracia could bring to Watford before the transfer deadline next Wednesday.

Roberto Rosales

Roberto Rosales is one of the most consistent right-backs in La Liga. It's somewhat surprising, then, that the Venezuela international hasn't been snapped up by a bigger club, particularly considering Malaga's dismal La Liga campaign.  

Rosales was among Gracia's first signings at Malaga. The defender has gone on to play more than 100 games. He's also become a real fans' favourite at La Rosaleda. The 29-year-old's experience and popularity make him a good option. He would certainly bolster Watford's defensive options.

Rosales has played in a variety of different countries in the past and therefore should not have any problems adapting to the English game. He started his career with Cacares in Venezuela before moving to Gent in 2007. After three years with the Belgian giants, he signed for Eredivisie side FC Twente. Then in 2014, Rosales left Dutch football to join current club Malaga.

Ruben Rochina

Ruben Rochina played for Rubin Kazan last season under Gracia. The Russian club forked out €10 million to sign the Spaniard in summer 2016. After impressing last campaign, he has the ability to improve Watford's attacking options. 

Rubin Kazan may be prepared to listen to offers for Rochina in this transfer window. English sides Fulham and West Ham United have both been linked, as well as La Liga side Girona. Gracia, however, may have the upper hand due to working alongside the attacker previously.  

Rochina started his career at Barcelona. He experienced the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers before going on to represent Real Zaragoza, Rayo Vallecano, Granada and most recently Rubin Kazan. Could Watford be the next destination for the 26-year-old?

Elmir Nabiullin

Elmir Nabiullin is one of the most highly-rated defenders in the Russian League. After coming through Rubin Kazan's academy, he has made 98 appearances for his boyhood club. The 22-year-old, like Rochina, played under Gracia last season. 

Watford's new manager knows all about Nabiullin's potential and may want to bring him to Vicarage Road before the transfer window closes. The left-back won't be cheap, though. He will have other suitors too.  

Watford have the Premier League's second-worst defensive record this season. Nabiullin would help steady their leaky backline. 

Harry Mail

A big Hull City fan from Manchester. Keep an eye on leagues across Europe, the MLS and non-league in England.

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