Could Watford star cut it in the Premier League after Scotland praise?

Watford Vicarage Road 2

Ikechi Anya has been touted as a future Premier League star, but his spell with Watford suggests otherwise.

The Scottish international, who rose to prominence this week with a well-taken finish in the Scot’s 2-1 defeat to Germany, has been with Watford since the summer of 2012.

Since making his debut for the Tartan Army in 2013, the former Granada man - who has also spent spells in non-league football - has appeared seven times for his nation, scoring two goals - the second of which came against Manuel Neuer.

He has become a fan favourite for both the Hornets and Scotland faithful in his short spells with both teams, with his attitude and desire to play second to none. However, Scotland manager Gordon Strachan admitted after the Germany game that he was surprised that Anya was overlooked in the transfer window, claiming that a number of Premier League clubs, or someone like Celtic, would be wise to acquire the 26-year old’s talents.

He was linked with a move away from Vicarage Road this summer, with Celtic reportedly looking to take the winger across the border, but nothing came to fruition, and Anya has since struggled to make an impact this season.

As a versatile player, Anya regularly plays as a right sided wing-back in the Hornets favoured 3-5-2 formation, although he has occasionally featured as an out-and-out winger in a more attacking set-up. Strachan praised his final ball after the Germany loss, claiming that Anya “knew exactly what he was doing” when he scored past Neuer in the German goal, although such composure is rarely seen when the player features in a yellow shirt.

Being used as an attacking outlet, with the ball played to the wings in the Hornets counter attacking system, Anya should be able to show his talents off. His burst of pace should allow him to dribble past retreating defenders with ease, although the Scot completed just one dribble per game last season, as his lack of ball control at high speed causes him to often overrun the ball.

He recorded an impressive tally of five goals and eight assists last season, hinting that when he gets to the final third he is composed enough to make the right decision - whether that is shooting himself or laying the ball off to a teammate. However, his decisions always appear rushed, and of the wingers 112 attempted crosses last season, just 32 found a target. Whilst his tally of 1.4 key passes per game is impressive, Anya has a wasteful record in a team known for their goalscoring exploits.

He has been even more inconspicuous this season, having not completed a single dribble or cross in any of his three games played so far.

Whilst Anya is held in high esteem by all those who support him, with his attitude to the game appreciated as much as his desire to perform for the team, his current form with Watford has not shown any reason to see him move to the Premier League - and it may not even be good enough for the Hornets.

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