Watford are poised to make Juan Manuel Jurado their ninth signing of what has been a hectic summer at Vicarage Road.
The Spanish schemer follows Miguel Britos, Giedrius Arlauskis, Etienne Capoue, Matej Vydra, Jose Holebas, Sebastian Prodl, Valon Behrami and Allan Nyom into Hertfordshire, as part of new boss Quique Sanchez Flores’ plan to augment his side’s quality reserves.
Jurado, a former Atletico Madrid playmaker who graduated from the Real Madrid academy and spent the previous few years at Spartak Moscow, isn’t the only freshly-minted Hornet whose CV is decorated with glamorous former employers from across Europe.
Britos was bought from Napoli, Capoue made the short journey from Tottenham, Holebas were parachuted in from the Italian capital where he represented Roma and Behrami turned out for Fiorentina, Napoli and Hamburg since leaving West Ham.
It’s a recruitment drive that mirrors that of QPR heading into the 2012/13 campaign.
Foolishly handed carte blanche with Tony Fernandes’ chequebook, then boss Mark Hughes too hastily attempted to squeeze the Super Hoops into the elevator bound for the Premier League’s top half after narrowly missing out on relegation the season before.
His master plan upon which this surge into the upper echelons was founded was to sign the aged/unwanted from clubs of a higher reputation.
In came Champions League winners Park Ji Sung and Jose Bosingwa from Manchester United and Chelsea, along with peripheral Real Madrid man Esteban Granero and the recently released Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
After coming to terms with this tear-inducing dent hammered into the wage budget, the Loftus Road accountants had to watch Hughes saturate what remained of the coffers on a range of not-so-flash signings, including geriatric trio Rob Green, Andy Johnson and Ryan Nelsen.
By the time the shutters were placed on the transfer window, the Welshman had brought in 11 players, who struggled to gel, failed to perform and got paid an absolute fortune.
Inevitably, this flawed modus operandi resulted in relegation.
It’s fair to assume Watford are paying a premium in order to coax players from their various, continent-sprawling safe havens for a survival skirmish at the foot of the Premier League.
In terms of depth, few Championship sides could compete with the squad the Hornets relied upon to win them promotion to the top flight last term and, having achieved their seasonal objective, it stands to reason the same group could compete at the highest level.
Such an unnecessary influx of additions, if nothing else, threatens to devastate the team spirit that enabled them to claim the runner’s up spot in the second tier and this could be the reason bwin make Watford 7/10 favourites for the drop in 2015/16.
Conversely, there’s 21/20 available for those who think the revitalised Hornets will stay afloat in the Premier League.