Revealed! Why Sunderland and Gabon midfielder Didier Ndong is yet to play a single minute for Watford

Didier Ndong is yet to play a single minute for Watford since joining on loan in January - with Hornets boss Javi Gracia explaining he currently has better options.

Monday, 12th March 2018, 11:01 am
Updated Monday, 12th March 2018, 11:05 am
Didier Ndong is sent off at Cardiff City in his final appearance for Sunderland before his Watford loan move.

The Gabon midfielder made it clear to the Sunderland hierarchy that he wanted to be playing Premier League football and the Black Cats accepted Watford's second loan offer.

It is understood there are stipulations in the deal around number of games played that could make it permanent in the summer but that seems highly unlikely currently given the 23-year-old is yet to make his debut.

He was again absent from the matchday squad for the Arsenal game at the weekend.

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Ndong has been on the bench for games against West Ham United and Stoke City but hasn't been involved otherwise and now Watford have Will Hughes back from injury, Gracia's options have been boosted.

When asked if there was an injury problem, Gracia told the Hertfordshire Mercury: "We choose other options because we have more players available and I choose what I think is best."

Watford only have eight games remaining before the end of the season and it looks likely Ndong - a club record signing - will be returning to the Stadium of Light in the summer.

Speaking in January, Coleman said: "Ndong is going to Watford, he’s made it clear that he wanted to be back in the Premier League.

"The deal suited us this time, there’s stipulations in the contract that could make it permanent, but he could come back.

"We shouldn’t worry too much about losing Ndong because we haven’t really had him all season if you look at his game time. Ovie [Ejaria] is a good player and he’ll be a good addition."

Speaking on his arrival at Watford, Ndong hoped to make the most of his second chance in the Premier League, he said: "My aim for the six months until the end of the season is to be the best I can, to give everything and to show the club I am capable and to give them confidence to sign me in the summer.

"It's a good chance to come back to the Premier League, it's a chance for me to express myself and show everyone what I can do.

"I'm hoping that this loan goes well and that they take the option for me to sign."