Stefano Okaka - The lowdown on Watford's ninth summer signing
(Picture - Zimbio)
Watford completed their ninth summer signing on bank holiday Monday, with Italian striker Stefano Okaka moving to Vicarage Road on a five-year-deal.
The striker joins from Belgian side Anderlecht, where he scored 17 goals in 47 appearances during his one and only season in the Belgian Pro League. One of those goals came against Tottenham Hotspur in the Europa League, with Okaka helping Anderlecht beat Spurs 2-1 in the group stages.
Okaka came through the ranks at Roma and was touted as one of their brightest prospects. He had a number of loan moves away from Roma during his time with the Italian club, which included a spell with Fulham in the Premier League during the 2010/11 season.
He was to make 40 appearances for Roma before he moved to Parma in August 2012, following a successful loan spell with the club.
Okaka had a loan spell with Serie B side Spezia during the 2012/13 season where he scored 8 goals and his performances earned him a move to Sampdoria in January 2014.
The 27-year-old scored nine goals in 45 appearances for Sampdoria and his displays earned him a call up to Antonio Conte's Italy squad.
I caught up with Sporting Anderlecht (Twitter - @Sporting_And) recently to get the lowdown on Watford's latest summer signing.
Here's what he had to say:
The Watford Blog - Okaka scored 15 goals for Anderlecht last season. How impressive was he over the
course of the 2015/16 season and was he a crucial player for Anderlecht?
Sporting Anderlecht - He was a very crucial player for us last season, but in pre-season he had an argument with the new coach Rene Weiler. He came back overweight and Stefano was demoted to the U21 squad. He rejected a £12m move to China earlier this window. He's a very nice chap though and is a hard worker to. He was outstanding when we played against Spurs last season. Okaka also scored that game.
The Watford Blog - Are Anderlecht fans disappointed to see him leave?
Sporting Anderlecht - The club wanted to get rid of him after he fell out with the coach. He played an important role last season, but Stefano doesn't have the Anderlecht DNA. Our fans want to see someone with good, quick feet. Some fans are disappointed, others aren't. It's hard to see someone go who scored a lot of important goals last season.
The Watford Blog - What are his main qualities? Do you think he can adapt to life in the Premier League and be a success in England?
Sporting Anderlecht - He's a very physical forward who is hard to get off the ball, so the Premier League should suit him.
The Watford Blog - Are there any areas of his game that he needs to work on?
Sporting Anderlecht - He has to work on his technique and learn the offside rule!!!
Thanks to the chaps from @Sporting_And for answering my questions!!! If you've got any more questions about Okaka, then I'm sure they would be more than happy to help!!
In the meantime, welcome to Watford Stefano!!!