The 28-year-old midfielder, a former Italian youth international, has played for Cagliari since the summer of 2012, moving on a permanent deal from Sampdoria, having spent a series of loan deals with the Sardinian club.
He has made 30 appearances in all competitions this term, scoring one goal and registering one assist, although he could not help prevent the club fall out of the Italian top flight at the end of the season.
Naturally a central midfielder, Dessena is well regarded for his defensive ability, playing in a deeper holding role, rather than as an attacking midfielder.
In terms of defensive midfielders there is a lack of depth, with only Ben Watson being a tough-tackling type, and the likes of Daniel Tozser being much more focused upon the playmaking aspect of the game rather than ball-winning.
Ensuring a strong midfield who can win the ball back is imperative in the Premier League, and Dessena looks to be the player highlighted by the Hornets to fill this void in their playing squad.
Following Cagliari’s relegation, he is said to be keen on securing a move away from the club, with Serie A rivals Atalanta and Palermo also reportedly interested in his services.