Talking Tactics

Promoted stars: Sierralta can excel for Watford

By Adrian Clarke 12 Jun 2021
Francisco Sierralta, Watford

Adrian Clarke says promising centre-back has all-round ability to thrive in the Premier League

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Francisco Sierralta (WAT)

Defender Francisco Sierralta is a name to watch out for at Watford in 2021/22.

The 24-year-old, signed from Udinese last year, was not handed his first Championship start until Xisco Munoz took charge in December.

Starring in a 1-0 win against champions Norwich City on his full debut, Sierralta has since made himself impossible to drop.

Growing in form and confidence with each passing week, Sierralta, who is part of the Chile squad at the Copa America, looks ready to shine at Premier League level next season.

Sierralta's influence on Watford
2020/21 Starts Non-starts
Matches 24 2
Win ratio 66% 50%
Goals conceded per 90 0.58 0.72
Average points 2.13 1.81

Playing on the left side of a partnership with William Troost-Ekong, the impressive Sierralta had a positive influence on results.

The Hornets conceded fewer goals and earned more points once he became a regular in the starting XI.

Sierralta scores v Rotherham

He does not have one standout strength but the Chilean is a commanding physical presence with excellent tactical awareness.

His decision-making was outstanding during the second half of the campaign, earning him a reputation for reliability at Vicarage Road.

Sierralta defensive stats
2020/21 Per 90
Tackles 0.98
Interceptions 1.22
Possession won 4.00
Duels won 5.55
Aerial duels won 3.79
Errors leading to shots 0
Errors leading to goals 0

Sierralta's sound positioning and natural assertiveness mean he is especially strong regaining loose balls and making interceptions.

Pleasingly for Watford the centre-back made no errors that led to a shot or goal in 2020/21 either and it is this dependability that should stand him in good stead as he steps up a level.

Xisco's tactics are not possession-based so it is likely the Hornets will put men behind the ball and absorb pressure before striking quickly on the counter-attack next season.

Therefore, Sierralta's performances will be integral to their prospects of picking up positive results.

He is a central defender who has shown plenty of promise.

Also in this series

Part 1: Promoted clubs: Norwich return with improved defence
Part 2: Promoted stars: Pukki must be clinical for Norwich
Part 3: Promoted clubs: Watford back with new-look attack
Part 5: Promoted clubs: Brentford have the balance to thrive
Part 6: Promoted stars: Toney the full package

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