Ex-Arsenal Keeper Manuel Almunia Among Seven New Watford Signings

Almunia and Fitz Hall among seven new faces at Vicarage Road.

Championship outfit Watford have taken the unprecedented step of announcing seven signings at once – including former Arsenal ‘keeper Manuel Almunia and Fitz Hall.

Both Almunia, 35, and Hall, 31, have agreed one-year deals at Vicarage Road and will add experience to Gianfranco Zola’s Hornet’s squad, reports the club’s official website.

Almunia was released by Arsenal at the end of last season after eight years in north London, during which he made over 100 league appearances for the club. He is expected to be Watford’s new number one, after Scott Loach’s departure.

Journeyman centre-half Hall has spent time with Southampton, Newcastle and QPR during his career.

The other five deals are season-long loans from either Udinese or Granada – both of whom are owned by the Pozo family, who completed their takeover of Watford last month and promptly installed Zola as boss.

Ikechi Anya, 24, and Daniel Pudil, 26, join the north Londoners from La Liga outfit Granada.

Glasgow-born striker Anya is the only loan signing to have played in the Football League before, after spells with Wycombe and Northampton earlier in his career.

His club-mate Pudil is a full Czech Republic international. The midfielder has impressed during pre-season for Zola’s men.

The other loan signings are 25-year-old midfielder Almen Abdi – a full Swiss international – and forwards Matej Vydra, 20, and Steve Lep Beleck, 19. All three join from Udinese.

The Pozzo family assured fans when they took over that Watford was not set to become a ‘nursery’ or training ground to provide experience for players from  their more established European clubs.

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