The sight of Adalberto Peñaranda at Watford preseason training has sent the Hornets fans into meltdown on Twitter, as they believe it might finally be time for the young Venezuelan to pull on the prestigious yellow shirt.
The tweet from Watford was of many players partaking in the annual bleep test, but it was the inclusion of the young forward that caught the eye of the fans.
The excitement stems from years of expectations and excitement, having submitted two work permit applications in two years to for Peñaranda, but both times having been rejected.
According to the Daily Mail, Watford were particularly annoyed as they believe the so-called bigger clubs in England’s top flight secure work permits much easier.
There are a number of rumours circulating as to why Peñaranda is training with the squad. While some believe the work permit may finally have been granted, others believe he has filed for a Spanish passport making him eligible to play. Either way, the name check from Watford suggest he may finally be an official Hornet.
Box-to-box midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, who has been linked with countless moves away from Vicarage Road, ended last campaign as the Hornets top goal scorer with just seven to his name. While it is a decent return for a deep lying centre-mid, the Watford faithful would much prefer a striker in the top spot next season.
Watford captain Troy Deeney and fellow front man Andre Grey scored 11 times between them last season, a sorry total for the Englishmen, highlighting the lack of a natural goal scorer at the club.
With Deeney largely playing second fiddle and frustrations growing, and the latter finds himself in the centre of an alledged scandal, perhaps a fresh face up top is exactly what the Hornets need.
Peñaranda started his career as an academy graduate of Venezuelan side Deportivo La Guaira, making his first professional appearance in August 2013, before making his move to Udinese in 2015.
As part of the Pozzo family set up, the Venezuelan signed for Watford the following year having spent the season on loan at Granada. Following another loan spell at the La Liga side, Peñaranda re-joined Udinese on loan, before playing his football at Malaga last season.
Despite not having the most illustrious goal scoring record, it is the potential that makes the young forward so appealing. Having played such a pivotal role in Venezuela reaching the final of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, and going on to represent his nations first team 11 times already, shows that he is a real prospect.
With the signing of Gerard Deulofeu and the return from injury of players like Nathaniel Chalobah and Tom Cleverley, as well as being linked with Premier League veteran Ben Foster, Javi Gracia’s side is coming together nicely.
With strengthening all over the pitch, it is just the starting centre forward spot that remains questionable, and it should be Adalberto Peñaranda who takes it.
While there hasn’t been any official announcements from Watford Football Club yet, fans have begun to believe the work permit may have finally been sorted, and they might just see the Venezuelan grace the turf of Vicarage Road this season.