Juanfran Moreno has returned on loan to Deportivo La Coruña, hopeful of a permanent future deal.
Last summer Spanish right-back Juanfran Moreno was snapped up on a three-year contract by Watford. However, his signing bore all the hallmarks of a Gino Pozzo investment move, which have been common practice at both Udinese and Granada.
Indeed, the 26-year-old is a player who Watford fans are never likely to see wearing their colours. Last season he was loaned straight out to Deportivo La Coruña, where he made 34 appearances in La Liga.
After a proposed transfer deal with Fiorentina fell through a few weeks back, Juanfran has now joined Deportivo for a second campaign on loan, and speaking with regional newspaper La Voz de Galicia, the player has underlined exactly where he stands with Watford.
“I have a contract until 2017 with Watford, who signed me to make money.” Juanfran explained, pointing out: “There was interest from other teams, but I belong to a third-party who decide for me. That’s why it’s taken a month and a half for me to show them I wanted to come back to Deportivo.”
Those words offered in a matter of fact way, rather than any criticism towards Pozzo, because in the end, he’s hopeful the Italian and Watford will help him secure a permanent move to Deportivo.
In that regard, Juanfran outlined: “I’m only here on loan for another season. Although there’s no option to buy clause, Deportivo will have alternative possibilities economically and if I do well enough, I’ll have options to stay here.”
Pozzo and Watford signed Juanfran on a free transfer, after he was out of contract at Real Betis, so along with any loan fee and his salary being covered by Deportivo, a healthy profit has likely already been made. That would of course increase if a permanent sale is agreed in the future.
The example with Juanfran is one that Watford fans may not yet be particularly used to, but such player moves are part and parcel of the successful model the Pozzo family have employed with Udinese, then with Granada.
Often misunderstood and particularly in England since the Pozzo takeover of Watford, such player investment deals are completely above board and are actually a very astute way of generating further profits for a modest club.
Given the trio of clubs backed by the Italians all have very healthy finances, it’s an approach that’s proven to work very well. Particularly as a self-sustaining alternative which more clubs are trying to emulate, compared to the hundreds of millions thrown at some clubs by oil-rich sheikhs, or Russian oligarchs.