Ecuador World Cup star impresses for Watford on Championship opening day

Juan Carlos Paredes received all the plaudits for Watford on the opening day of the Championship.

The 27-year old was a key player for Ecuador at the World Cup, featuring in every minute of their campaign. Despite suffering elimination at the closing of the group stage, pundits were impressed by the pace and energy of Paredes, who was frequently seen marauding down the right flank from a defensive position.

Following his displays on the world stage, a host of clubs showed their interest in the former Barcelona Sporting Club defender - with Juventus the most highly reputed - although he chose to honour the pre-tournament interest shown in him by Watford and he signed a five-year deal with the Hertfordshire club.

He failed to feature in pre-season, with the gaining of international clearance taking much longer than expected, although he slotted straight into the first-team for the Hornets opening game of the season - a home tie with Bolton Wanderers.

And it appears as if he is going to replicate his World Cup form on the Vicarage Road turf - turning in a man of the match performance on his debut.

Playing at right wing-back in the 3-5-2 formation so associated with Watford, Paredes displayed his pace and energy, winning two tackles as well as completing two successful dribbles. With the preference for attacking at home, the Ecuadorian featured more as an orthodox winger than a wing-back, although he was willing to fall back and aid the remainder of the defensive line when needed.

The only thing needed to embellish his debut in a yellow shirt was a goal - and he came within inches of that.

Following the restart, Paredes lashed a long-range shot against the bar, having beaten the keeper with the strength of the shot.

If Paredes can continue his rich vein of form, he will cement himself as a key player in the Hornets' search for the Premier League. And if that target is reached, the club will have repaid the faith shown in them by the player - who chose the challenge of the Championship over the rewards of top-flight football.

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