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Watford must forget about signing this 27-year-old PL outcast at all costs and here’s why

Why Watford should not renew their interest in Ben Gibson

According to Sky Sports (h/t Watford Observer), Watford’s loan move for defender Ben Gibson has been rejected by Burnley.

The report suggests that the Hornets offered to sign Gibson on loan for the remainder of the season with an option to make the move permanent in the summer. But the Clarets are reluctant to let the defender move on without having a replacement lined up.

Gibson, 27, came through the ranks of Middlesbrough’s youth system and was sent on different loan spells to teams like Plymouth, York City and Tranmere Rovers before playing for his boyhood club.

He made 204 appearances for Boro since coming through the ranks and his best days were at the Riverside Stadium. He won the U17 Euro Championship back in 2010 with England’s youth team. He was also part of the squad that won the Nordic Cup in 2009, where he scored the final goal against Scotland.

Ben Gibson (Getty Images)
Ben Gibson (Getty Images)

He played a crucial role in Middlesbrough’s promotion to the Premier League in 2016 and received his first call-up to England’s senior squad that year. But the last two campaigns haven’t gone his way since he joined the Clarets in the summer of 2018.

Meanwhile, the Hornets have endured a poor start to the season and their performances cost Javi Garcia and Quique Sanchez Flores their jobs. That said, the arrival of Nigel Pearson has made a difference, with the club putting up some excellent performances mid-way through the season.

However, the loss to Aston Villa in the recent league outing has pushed them back to the relegation zone. One of the chief reasons behind their lacklustre displays is the inconsistency in their backline. The Hornets have conceded 36 goals in the league this term.

Belgian international Christian Kabasele appears to be the only centre-back in decent form while the rest of them haven’t been up to the standards. Experienced campaigner Craig Dawson was roped in last summer to shore up their defensive line but the former Manchester City youth product hasn’t made much of an impact.

Ben Gibson (Getty Images)
Ben Gibson (Getty Images)

In order to add depth to the squad, Nigel Pearson must bring in some reinforcements for the rest of the season. Therefore, it is no surprise that the Hornets turned to Ben Gibson.

The 27-year-old featured in only 5 games in all competitions last season after suffering from inguinal hernia. And he is yet to feature for Sean Dyche’s side in the ongoing campaign in the league, having made only 1 appearance in the EFL Cup loss to Sunderland back in August.

Gibson’s lack of game time does make the situation all the more complicated. As a matter of fact, he has been left out of the Dyche’s squad for a long time and hasn’t been able to make a name for himself.


At just 27, his career seems to be on the decline and Watford need an established centre-half. Therefore, the Hornets must avoid renewing their interest in the English international.