​Javi Gracia's Watford enjoyed a successful season last year, despite being hammered 6-0 by Manchester City in the FA Cup final. 

The Hornets finished the season in 11th place in the league, however, they spent the majority of their season within touching distance of a Europa League spot. 

Watford's poor form at the end of the season led to them slipping into the bottom half of the table. Gracia will look to strengthen his squad over the summer to ensure that a similar fate is not repeated. 

Here are five positions that we think Watford need to strengthen in order to secure a place in the Europa League next season. 

Centre-Back Partner for Christian Kabasele

Dominique Heintz,Ahmed Kutucu

​Watford have a strong centre-back in Christian Kabasele but lack a quality partner for the Belgian. ​If Javi Gracia wants to push for a Europa League spot next season, the Hornets need to enter the transfer market in search of a centre-half.

Watford fell off the pace during the latter stages of last season with a run of three defeats and a draw from their final four matches, including a 4-1 defeat to ​West Ham. In order to push for a Europa League spot, Watford will need to improve defensively. 

Signing a centre-half such as Dominique Heintz from Freiburg would be a fantastic asset to the squad. The young German would only cost around £12m and has bags of potential being only 25 years old. He enjoyed a good season in the ​Bundesliga and looks to be a very good defender. 

Understudy for Ben Foster 

Dean Henderson

Ben Foster was one of Watford's best performers last season despite being 36 years of age. The Englishman produced a number of good stops throughout the season and showed his worth for the club. 

However, due to his age, Watford  are in need of an understudy...and one who is a lot younger than the 39-year-old Heurelho Gomes. The Brazilian only has a year remaining on his contract. ​Watford need to look for a keeper who would be willing to play the domestic competitions and take a back-seat role until they eventually takeover from Ben Foster as number one. 

Someone like ​Dean Henderson has already proved his worth while on-loan at Sheffield United and would be more than willing to spend a season or two learning the tricks of the trade from the two Watford veterans. Being just 21, if Watford secured a player like Henderson they would have a good keeper for many years to come. 

An Attacking Option to Compliment Troy Deeney


Outside the starting lineup, Watford lack quality attacking options. Striker and leader, ​Troy Deeney had one of his best seasons for the Hornets scoring 11 goals in all competitions. 

In order to make the step up and challenge for a Europa League spot, Watford need to find a striker that can play well with Deeney on the pitch or have enough quality to come off the bench and make a real difference. 

Recent ​reports have linked Genk forward Mbwana Samatta to the club. The Hornets are one of a number of clubs battling it out to secure the services of the Tasmanian. The striker had an impressive season in the Belgian league scoring 32 goals, and it is thought that a bid of around £11m would be enough to capture his services.  

A Central Midfielder ​

Jean Michael Seri

Watford have two powerhouse midfielders in Abdoulaye Doucouré and Etienne Capoue, however, when you look at the rest of their midfield options, they do lack quality. 

Players such as ​Tom Cleverley are all too often sidelined with an injury and Domingos Quina isn't quite ready to make the step up into the starting lineup if there are injuries. Gracia needs to target a midfielder who already knows the league and who wouldn't break the bank.

A player such as Jean Michaël Seri from Fulham would be a perfect target for the Hornets. The Fulham midfielder showed last season he has the quality for the ​Premier League and would likely be willing to make the move from the relegated side. 

A New Left-Back to Replace the Veteran Jose Holebas 


​Watford have a solid and reliable defender in Jose Holebas, however, ​the defender will be entering the twilight years of his career, meaning that Gracia needs to enter the transfer market for a suitable replacement for their left-back. 

Gracia should look to bring a versatile, young and exciting prospect to Vicarage Road. The Hornets should target someone who has the quality to step into the first team should Holebas need to be rested or injured. 

A player such as Toni Leto would be willing to provide cover for Holebas but is also young enough to be happy playing understudy as he develops as a player. Lato has bags of potential and could be a real signing for the future. He doesn't seem to be in Marcelino's plans at Valencia, so he could be available for a bargain.