By 90Min
August 15, 2018

Watford started the 2018/19 Premier League season with a 2-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion, with Roberto Pereyra stealing the headlines on the opening day at Vicarage Road.

The 27-year-old midfielder found the net on two occasions, helping the Hornets get off to a flying start to their campaign.

Javi Gracia’s side, who were tipped by the so-called footballing experts of the world to suffer relegation this season, fully deserved all three points and look like a solid side.

Michael Regan/GettyImages

The Spanish head coach, who took over from now-Everton manager Marco Silva in January last year, set his side up in his own take on a standard 4-4-2, with Pereyra and Will Hughes on either flank.

The Argentine had vast success down the left had side, opening the scoring in the 35th minute with what has to go down as an immediate contender for goal of the season – a first time volley direct from a corner past a helpless Matt Ryan.

Pereyra has found himself top of the Sky Sports power rankings after the opening fixture of the Premier League season, ahead of former teammate Richarlison and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane.

Roberto Pereyra struggled last season to get a consistent run in the Watford side, despite having made 34 appearances in all competitions for the Hornets, scoring five goals. 

The Argentina international was mainly deployed as a central midfielder last season, vying for the starting spots against the likes of Capoue, Doucoure, Hughes and Chalobah, whilst Brazilian wonderkid Richarlison had claimed the starting left wing position.

The Hornets somewhat limped over the line in the latter stages of last season, avoiding relegation by eight points, but this season already has a different feel about it for the Watford faithful.

Pereyra struggled with a number of short terms injuries last season, limping off in multiple matches in what was reportedly one of the worst injury stricken teams in English top flight history, meaning we possibly are yet to see the midfielder’s full potential in a yellow shirt.

Gracia was quick to point out we should not be surprised by the Argentine's performances this season in an interview with Sky Sports, stating: “It didn't surprise me, I know he is capable of doing these things. I'm very happy for him. From when I arrived in January, Roberto was the one who was causing the most goals in the team."

The high profile sale of Richarlison, who also netted twice on the opening weekend, to fellow Premier League side Everton for a reported £50m will allow Pereyra to play in his preferred left wing position, and finally shine for the Hornets.

Power Sport Images/GettyImages

Despite only having made 48 appearances for Watford since joining the club for a reported £10.3m back in 2016, Pereyra’s credentials are hard to beat.

With two Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia victories to his name, the former Juventus man also boasts the achievement of having played in a midfield three alongside Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba in the 2015 Champions League final.

Having also made 10 first team appearances for Argentina, there is no doubting the pedigree of Pereyra, and this could be the season to show that off on the big stage.

Richard Heathcote/GettyImages

With rumours circulating linking Roberto Pereyra with a move away from Vicarage Road throughout this summer’s transfer window, the Watford fans will be hoping that Javi Gracia will be able to hold onto their star man, and improve on last season’s 14th place finish.

The midfielder has the potential to be a star in the Hornets side this season, and has already shown his worth in the first fixture of the season.

High energy, adaptability and dynamic play are all things that Roberto Pereyra has to offer, and the Premier League may have just found an unlikely hidden gem that can help the Hornets fly this season.

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