OFFICIAL: Villarreal sign Etienne Capoue from Watford

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald
  • Updated: 19 May 2021 17:39 BST
  • 2 min read
OFFICIAL: Villarreal sign Etienne Capoue from Watford

Villarreal FC have unveiled the signing of midfielder Etienne Capoue from Watford, who arrives at El Madrigal for a fee of around £2m.

Capoue developed into one of Watford’s key players over the years, but has only started seven out of a possible 21 matches in the Championship in 2020/21 and has actively sought a move away.

He has now signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Yellow Submarine, who recently lost central midfielder Vicente Iborra to a long-term injury.

Unveiled at a press conference on Tuesday, Capoue said of his own playing style: “Above all my work is based on containment, dirty work and defensive containment. Although when I have the ball I always try to move forward.”

Though Emery has a few players available to him in that position like Dani Parejo, Manu Trigueros, and Francis Coquelin, his team will miss the physicality of Iborra in the second half of the season.

Etienne Capoue: Snapshot

Ball Recoveries P908.9
Interceptions P904.0
Dribbles P901.4
Duels Won P906.2
2020/21 all competitions, via FootballCritic

Of the players who have played at least 500 minutes of football in the English Championship this season, no-one has more interceptions P90 than Capoue, with 4.0, with Blackburn’s Tom Trybull next on 2.9.

The Frenchman has the third-best tally of ball recoveries P90 for midfielders who have played over 500 minutes, with Bournemouth’s Lewis Cook and Millwall’s Ryan Woods the only players above him in that particular list.

Capoue will play a defensive midfield role for Villarreal and his skillset looks matches with that of ever-present playmaker Parejo, who has one of the highest passes P90 rate for anyone in his position in La Liga.