Why Watford shouldn’t hesitate to part ways with Kiko Femenia
According to the Watford Observer, Watford are in talks with Spartak Moscow to sanction an exit for full-back Kiko Femenia, initially on loan, with an obligation to make the deal permanent next summer.
As per the report, the 29-year-old is keen on a move to Russia and while nothing has been finalised just yet, negotiations between the clubs are understood to be heading in the positive direction.
Femenia had been linked with a reunion with former Watford boss Javi Gracia at Valencia earlier in the summer and the Hornets are still looking for options to get the Spaniard off their books, with the transfer deadline in Russia coinciding with the October 16 domestic deadline in England.
Kiko Femenia shot to prominence with Hercules in the Spanish second-tier and subsequently made his mark in the La Liga after guiding the club to promotion. He also featured for the reserve sides of Real Madrid and Barcelona in the Segunda Division before excelling at Alcorcon at the same level.
The 29-year-old earned promotion to the La Liga with Alaves and was snapped up by Watford in the summer of 2017 following a string of impressive displays in the Spanish top-flight. Femenia featured regularly for the Hornets in the Premier League across three seasons, registering 88 appearances in all competitions.
Watford should look to replace Femenia
Kiko Femenia has struggled to retain his status as an undisputed starter at Vicarage Road following the club’s relegation to the Championship at the end of last season. The Spaniard has started only twice in Watford’s opening four league fixtures so far, with new manager Vladimir Ivic opting to use Femenia as a left-back and left wing-back.
Unsurprisingly, though, the 29-year-old hasn’t managed to produce his best operating out of his natural right-back position on the left-hand side of the pitch. Femenia is predominantly right-footed and his qualities as an attacking full-back are surely better utilised on the right-hand side of the defence.
Youngster Jeremy Ngakia has established himself as the new first-choice right-back and with Daryl Janmaat offering experienced cover in that department, Femenia could well be set for a bit-part role at Vicarage Road this season.
Truth be told, it wouldn’t really make much sense for Watford to have Femenia in the mix if the player himself is keen on a move elsewhere. It is completely understandable that the Spaniard wants to continue his career at the highest level after proving his worth in the Premier League and a switch to Russia should be in the best interests of all parties involved.
Watford need to prioritise a move for a specialist left-back before the domestic deadline and offloading Kiko Femenia would free up some room in the squad while also reducing the wage bill.