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Watford: Hughes set to sign for Crystal Palace

One of the key Watford transfer sagas of the summer looks to be finally over, with reports suggesting that Will Hughes will join Crystal Palace in the coming days.

What’s the word?

Despite playing a key role in Watford’s promotion from the Championship last season, the Hornets were unable to agree to a new contract with the former Derby County man, which meant that an exit from Vicarage Road was always likely to be on the cards.

The Athletic suggested last month that Watford offered the 26-year-old a new five-year contract with the club but that it was rejected, and a decision was made to relegate him to the U23s as a result.

He failed to feature in any of Watford’s pre-season fixtures and has been absent for both of their Premier League games thus far, whilst the club have worked quickly to bring in replacements for the Englishman, with Imran Louza, Peter Etebo and Juraj Kucka all joining the club as midfield options this summer.

However, it now seems as if he has agreed a move away from Vicarage Road, with journalist Alan Nixon claiming that Palace are set to sign him in a £10m deal.

Is losing Hughes a blow for Watford?

Considering Hughes’ excellent performances last season, Watford fans will no doubt be disappointed that he won’t remain a Hornets player this season, especially as he is joining potential relegation battling rivals in Crystal Palace.

Last season saw the £6.3m-rated midfielder make 30 appearances in the second tier, in which he contributed two goals and averaged an impressive 6.85 rating from WhoScored for his performances.

Although Etebo and Kucka both impressed on their debuts against Aston Villa in the opening fixture, the latter has picked up an injury, and Watford could seriously miss Hughes’ calmness on the ball in the top-flight this season, as evidenced by the second goal they conceded at Brighton last time out.

However, it is good news that the transfer saga looks to be finally over, as it will allow Xisco Munoz to move on from this and potentially put the funds received towards a new signing of his own.

And, in other news… 100% duels lost: £4.05m-rated Watford dud let Xisco down vs Brighton