Watford have completed the signing of forward Stefano Okaka from Belgian side Anderlecht.
The Italian striker has penned a five-year deal for an undisclosed fee, becoming the fourth reinforcement to arrive at Vicarage Road after earlier arrivals by Dja Djedje [Marseille], Christian Kabasele [Genk] and Jerome Sinclair [Liverpool].
Born Stefano Okaka Chuka on 9 August 1989 in Castiglione del Lago, Italy, he flagged off his youth career with local side Castiglione, a club he would spend seven years in. He transferred to a number of clubs during his early years, before settling in Roma where he earned his first team debut in 2005.
After making slightly over 30 appearances in 6 years for the Roma first team, Okaka temporarily departed from the Stadio Olimpico in 2012.
In the years that followed, he went on to serve various loan spells with teams in the First and Second Division in Italy, albeit with a year-long stint in England in between.
He returned back home in 2014, making over 35 appearances with Sampdoria before being signed by Anderlecht the following season.
What can he deliver?
It would be nothing short of inconsiderate to judge the Hornets based on their current standing in the Premier League log.
Walter Mazzarri’s have yet to win a match in the English top flight this season, but only because their opening matches of the campaign have been against the league’s elite.
Unable to weather the initial storms by Chelsea and Arsenal, they managed to salvage a point against Southampton last weekend, although it wasn’t enough to propel them out of the relegation zone.
It’s still early days in the League; but the Watford gaffer has nonetheless through foresight brought in his fellow Italian in a bid to avoid being entangled in a relegation catfight.
Okaka scored 17 goals last season, guiding his side to a third place finish in the Belgian Pro League.
He may have narrowly missed out on a booking for the Azzurri in the Euros, but the 27-year old striker will do just enough to equal, or better yet improve on Watford’s 13th place finish in the League last season.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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