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Watford prepare for Prem return with capture of Ligue 1 midfielder

Watford have completed the signing of Imran Louza from FC Nantes for an undisclosed fee ahead of their return to the Premier League.

The midfielder has agreed a five-year deal with the Hornets after playing 58 times for the Ligue 1 side during the last three seasons. Louza scored seven goals during the 2020-21 campaign for Nantes and helped them retain their top-flight status with an away-goal victory in their relegation play-off against Toulouse.

He made his final appearance for his boyhood club in the second leg on Sunday and will now swap Pays de la Loire for Watford.

Capable of playing in a variety of positions, including out wide or as a defensive midfielder, the left-footer predominately plays in the centre of midfield.

Now aged 22, he was previously capped by France at under-20 and under-21 level.

This is the third signing Watford have made since they secured an instant return to the Premier League, with young defender Mattie Pollock and forward Kwadwo Baah joining from Grimsby and Rochdale respectively last month.

Louza makes Watford vow

The midfielder told the club website what they can expect from him.

“I am very happy to join Watford,” he said. “The Premier League is a big competition. I can learn and keep progressing.

“I was very happy with the time I spent with Nantes. It is the only club I have been with.

“I took the decision that I want to continue my improvement and progression, so I am very happy to be here at Watford to achieve this.

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“I wanted to discover a new culture, a new competition and a new league. I want to achieve some new challenges.

“My ambitions are first of all to adapt, and then to try to bring my personal touch to a successful team, and to improve the team.

“I have a big engine, good physical abilities and good technique. I base my football on my physique and technique, and I will try to bring this to the team.

“I will give everything I have, in every minute of every game, to win the most games possible and to reach the best position we can.”

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