Arriving from FC Twente’s U19s on a free transfer, Derek Agyakwa was nowhere near ready to play for the first-team regularly at Watford.
Despite this, he was fielded twice this season in the EFL Cup against both Oxford United and Newport County, showing just how much faith the club have in him, playing him with the big boys before he’d even made an U23 appearance.
The player was interviewed by Voetbalzone this week, who had a lot of questions to ask the towering centre-back about his time with Watford so far, and those two games in particular.
He said: “It was a very good experience, also playing with players like Nathaniel Chalobah and Tom Cleverley. I learned a lot during that time. I’m very grateful to God for that.
“It looked like was going to stay at Watford at first. When we were eliminated in the EFL Cup, it meant I would have fewer minutes in the first team. I hadn’t thought about a loan, to be honest”.
What the centre-back needed was weekly first-team football to gain more experience, which is why the loan to Como in Serie C was organised.
He said: “I had little time to make up my mind, so this was my only option and there was little time to find anything else. Watford and I agreed that I had to keep playing in a first-team somewhere. I thought about it carefully and decided to go here.
“Everything was quite new to me. I didn’t really know anything about Como. They want to get promoted and it is good to fight for a title. They convinced me in that respect”.
Pushed out of his comfort zone by joining a lower tier Italian side, the 18-year-old is doing everything he can to get some minutes, starting just one game from a possible four so far.
Funnily enough, that one match is the only one Como have won since he arrived, which could be a good sign going forward.
Prior to his move, Watford renewed his contract until 2022, which Agyakwa is delighted with.
He added: “It was good that they showed confidence. I’m very happy with that. Every young player wants to stay in the first-team if he gets a taste a bit. That was the case for me too.
“I wanted to stay there. It turned out different and this is fine, because I’m going to develop here and come back stronger. I know what I’m doing. I want to be one of the best or even the best in my position. If things don’t go the way I want, then I just have to make sure it goes the way I want”.