Peter Taylor was quite hopeful when he signed Sanchez Watt for Kerala and to his delight, the 24 year old English winger has already made an impressive start to his life in India after he slid the ball through Rehnesh TP’s legs to secure his side’s first win in ISL 2016. Rehnesh made his name in the previous season after producing a string of good saves for North East United but this time Watt defeated him with ease to score the Blasters’ third goal. Now, we need to learn a few more things about the young English forward who decided to ply his trade in India.
Gunners Academy Graduate
To start with, Sanchez Watt is an Arsenal academy graduate. He joined the gunners at the age of seven and flourished under the eyes of Wenger until he reached 19.
Youngest Debut Goalscorer for Arsenal under Wenger
Sanchez Watt became the youngest debutant goalscorer for Arsenal in Wenger’s era when he put home a rebound from Carlos Vela’s shot in a League Cup tie against West Bromwich Albion on 22nd September, 2009. This is his only senior Arsenal goal. He was just 18 years 190 days then and the other debut goalscorers for Arsenal in this period are Ljungberg, Vermaelen, Adebayor and Nasri.
Loan spells at League One or Two clubs
After that, his Arsenal first team dreams took quite a toll as he spent four seasons on loan away from the club. In this period, he featured for Leeds United, Sheffield Wednesday, Crawley Town and Colchester United.
Prolific Goalscorer for Arsenal Reserves
In between his loan spells, he was a regular goalscorer for Arsenal Reserves. He netted 10 times in 16 games for the team.
His career was plagued with injuries as he mostly made appearances from the bench. Out of his 33 professional games from 2010 to 2012, he started 19 of them as a sub. He suffered head, ankle injuries and later a hamstring tear which made people doubt over his physical ability. Sheffild Wednesday manager Gary Megson once criticised him by saying that he was not fitted to suit the physicality of English football.
Wenger was a big fan of his playing style though. The Professor praised the attacker mentioning about his intelligent movement, great work rate and splendid left footed quality.
Sanchez Watt already represented England at U-16, U-17 and U-19 levels. His parental origins would have allowed him to play for Jamaica and Wales also but he opted for the three lions.
A distinctive story
One interesting story about him is that though he was on loan at Leeds United, Wenger allowed him to play against Arsenal in a FA Cup tie which was drawn 1-1 at the Emirates.
Now, we need to keep our focus on how this versatile talented attacker thrives on Indian soil and he will pass the test of temperament if he can help last year’s finalists increase their dividends.