Home Matchday Live Post-Match Thoughts: Flo Hadergjonaj stakes his claim

Post-Match Thoughts: Flo Hadergjonaj stakes his claim

during the Premier League match between Watford and Huddersfield Town at Vicarage Road on December 16, 2017 in Watford, England.

Amongst the many positives to come out of the great way performance and win against Watford, one major positive was the performance of our young right-back, Florent Hadergjonaj.

After club captain Tommy Smith missed the game through illness, Flo had a chance to stake a claim for an extended run in the first-team going into the Christmas period.

In recent weeks, we have witnessed Smith playing within himself for one reason or another. Instead of being the adventurous full-back who picked up ten assists last season, recently he has taken the easier option to cut inside when presented with the opportunity to cross.

With Smith not playing to the level of performance that we know and he knows he can produce, this presented an opportunity for Flo Hadergjonaj.

Flo came on as a substitute against Chelsea and he immediately made an impact in the game. He made a few bright runs down the wing and set up the consolation goal for his fellow substitute, Laurent Depoitre.

Wagner obviously trust’s Flo to step up if called upon and he rewarded him for his contribution with a full-start against Watford, one of his first of the season in the Premier League.

Most of Watford’s wins have usually coincided with their new-signing, Richarlison having a good game.

The Brazilian starlet has already bagged five goals and four assists so far this season, so if Town were going to get anything out of the game, Flo would have to be at his best. Luckily, he was.

Bar an early scare where Richarlison blazed a good opportunity over the bar from a tight angle, he never had much joy against Hadergjonaj.

Whilst also excellently assisted defensively by Collin Quaner, Flo marshalled Richarlison brilliantly.

Whenever he got the ball, he starved him of space and jockeyed him superbly when he tried to make darting runs into our box.

At Premier League level, a lot of full-back play defensively is about not diving in, maintaining good body position and having the pace to keep up with wingers.

On Saturday, Flo did that to great effect.

Hadergjonaj was also not afraid to get up in support of Collin Quaner when Town went on the attack.

He gave Quaner an option every time he got the ball and joined in with several overlaps throughout the game.

His delivery from crosses is consistently at a high-standard and made a few energetic runs of his own to stretch the Watford defence.

It might just be one game but on this evidence, Tommy Smith should be worried about his place in the team for the rest of the season.

Wagner obviously places huge trust in Smith as his club-captain but we know his capacity to be ruthlessness in the pursuit of excellence for Town.

At 23, Flo is only going to get better and, under the tutelage of Wagner, has the potential to turn into a very accomplished Premier League full-back.

One of his priorities at the end of the season must be signing Flo to a permanent deal and this Swiss full-back looks like yet another of Wagner’s low-cost, high quality finds.



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