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Why Manchester United Will Ultimately Have Watford Owners To Thank As Transfer Looms

The Pozzos took over Watford in 2012.
The Pozzos took over Watford in 2012.

When the Italian Pozzo family decided to add to their burgeoning collection of football clubs in taking over then-Championship based Watford FC from owner Laurence Bassini in 2012, they were procuring a mid-table side featuring players  such as Carl Dickinson, Prince Buaben, and Craig Forsyth.

The acquisition completed a trio of football club purchases, to place under the Pozzo umbrella alongside Granada and Udinese Calcio. With a combination of transfers and loan signing, the Hornets were the main beneficiaries from the new link-up.

Seven years later, in 2019 the Hornets were mid-table again, however in the top tier with the additional gloss of reaching their first FA Cup Final in 35 years. Patriarch Giampaolo Pozzo handed the reins over to son Gino, with an increased influence on transfer dealings across the tenures of nine different managers ahead of the 2019/20 season. 

At Vicarage Road, as was the case in both in Spain and Italy, the Pozzo dynasty have excelled in unearthing and acquiring prodigious talent with a particularly Latin vibe.

Following in the footsteps of the ascension of Alexis Sanchez - a Udinese purchase that rose into the echelons of the football elite - the strategy reached its apex with Richarlison.

The winger arrived at Watford from Fluminense in summer 2017 before departing for five times his original price in a £50million move to Everton .Recently, Watford have dipped back into the South American market at the very same club to snatch up 17-year-old João Pedro on a five-year-contract.

A recent Twitter thread by @louorns documented the astonishing amount of value purchases under the Pozzo banner that became prevalent, recognisable names and stellar talent, expensive across Europe, stemming all the way back to that original Udinese takeover in 1986.

Màrcio Amoroso, David Pizarro, Cristian Zapata, Mauricio Isla, Juan Cuadrado, Allan, Luis Muriel, Samir Handanovic: all intuitive purchases that went on to success, and cumulatively provide a considerable profit.

This summer, another Pozzo/ Udinese alumni is the subject of accentuating transfer speculation.

Bruno Fernandes was signed for Udinese from fellow Italian side Novara for the measly figure of £50,000 at the age of 19 in 2013.

The Portuguese midfielder, born in Maia near Porto, went on to spend three years with the Serie A outfit, followed by a spell at Sampdoria, before returning to his homeland with Sporting CP. 

He now finds himself nearing close to a brobdingnagian move to Premier League giants Manchester United (SkySports), after also reportedly attracting the interest of behemoths Manchester City.  The Portuguese scored 20 goals and produced 13 assists the Primeira Liga side in the 2018/19 season. The most recent transfer fee estimates have placed his value at approximately £40million. Even if this is an underestimate, as an example of his exponential elevation, that’s an almost 80,000% value increase. 

Not only will it possibly mark the culmination of a remarkable rise for the exciting playmaker, his stock certifiably at boiling point, those who inspect a little closer will also chalk it down as another success story produced by a Pozzo Project.

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