Watford have continued planning for their Premier League return with the signing of Imran Louza for an undisclosed fee from FC Nantes.
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.
After captaining several FC Nantes youth sides, Louza made his first team debut in January 2019.
He made 24 Ligue 1 appearances in 2019-20 as the French outfit finished 13th on 37 points.
He will now compete with Dan Gosling and Will Hughes for a place in Xisco Munoz’s starting eleven.
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.
The Hornets are still looking to strengthen the squad and have entered talks with Ashley Young over a Vicarage Road return for the former England international.
Young, 35, made over 100 appearances for Watford between 2003 and 2007 before joining Aston Villa for an £11.8million fee.
Watford have also begun discussions with Chelsea over a move for young striker Ike Ugbo, according to reports.
The 22-year-old, who recently scored 16 goals in 32 games while on loan at Cercle Brugge, could be available for just £5million.
He’s keen to secure a move away from Stamford Bridge as there is no obvious route into the starting lineup under Thomas Tuchel.
Another option for Watford in attack is Galatasaray’s Mbaye Diagne. The Senegalese international recently completed a loan spell with West Brom but was unable to keep the Baggies in the Premier League.
Galatasaray are keen to sell, meaning Watford could land his signature in the coming months.