It will certainly go down as one of the biggest transfer coups of the summer should Watford win the race to sign talented Lille midfielder Sofiane Boufal.
Tottenham and Chelsea were considered among the frontrunners to sign the 22-year-old, but it is the Hornets that have secured pole position based on reports that a £16m bid has been agreed, alongside the player accepting a contract offer.
However, it is not obvious where the Moroccan, who won’t be fit until September after undergoing a knee operation, will feature at Vicarage Road.
Boufal was the second most successful dribbler in the French top-flight last term and the scorer of 11 goals for Lille, primarily from an advanced position down the left flank.
Yet, new Watford boss Walter Mazzarri has typically deployed a 3-5-2 formation throughout his managerial career and has rolled out the same set up in his early friendlies with the Premier League club.
This formation obviously has no space for wingers and with Boufal often lacking when it comes to defensive contributions, it is impossible to see him taking on the role of wing back.
The Lille man did net twice from four starts in a central role last season and his direct dribbling, long-range shooting ability and eye for a key pass suggest he could flourish in a position at the attacking tip of a midfield trio.
Yet, again his defensive ineptitude has to be a concern and the fact that Watford are unlikely to dominate possession makes it a big risk to effectively leave three men forward.
The final logical option for Mazzarri would be to deploy Boufal as one of his two central strikers, but doing so would mean dropping either Odion Ighalo or captain Troy Deeney and given that big-money offers have been rejected for both already this summer, it would seem the pair look close to undroppable.
Given Mazzarri’s traditional inflexibility with switching formation, Boufal seems a strange signing.
But, he would certainly bring some much needed creativity to the Hornets’ squad that are 2/1 to be relegated this season. Their most frequent dribbler last season completed 52, with Boufal beating an opponent on 125 occasions in France.