Dele-Bashiru: Watford midfielder set for six-month injury layoff

The Nigeria youth international will be operated, which could rule him out of action for the rest of the year

Watford have confirmed Tom Dele-Bashiru will undergo surgery this week which could potentially sideline him for six months.

The 21-year-old suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury during the Hornets’ 1-0 defeat against Reading in Saturday’s Premier League game.

The Nigerian midfielder only featured for 37 minutes in the encounter before he was replaced by Ken Sema due to the kneel problem.

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Dele-Bashiru has only started establishing himself in Vladimir Ivic’s team since joining the side from Manchester City in the summer of 2019.

The midfielder has expressed his disappointment with the injury and hope to bounce back from the setback soon.

“I’m obviously disappointed to be injured but my recovery starts now, and I’ll be working hard to come back stronger and to get back as soon as possible to help the team, hopefully towards the end of the season,” Dele-Bashiru told the club website.

“When I went down the first time, I could feel something, but I didn’t think it was bad and I felt okay to carry on. The second time I knew it was bad.

“It’s really frustrating because the last few weeks have been great and I have really felt part of the team. Training has been really enjoyable, so I am going to miss being out on the pitch with the rest of the boys.

“I’ve had lots of messages from the lads wishing me well, telling me to keep my head up and that I’ll be back stronger, which has been great.

Watford captain Tom Cleverley has sympathized with Dele-Bashiru and encouraged him to be positive during his time on the sidelines in order to hasten his quick return to action.

“It’s a massive blow for him and also for us as a team, he was really learning fast and was going to be an important player for us this season,” Cleverley said.

“He’s a great lad and I hope his good attitude will help him get back as soon as possible.

“He should think about all the good things he has ahead of him in his career and the good times he will have when he gets back on the pitch. We all wish him well.”

Dele-Bashiru, who started his professional career with Manchester City, has featured for Nigeria at the U20 and U23 levels.

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