Claudio Ranieri Makes First Signing With Nicolas Nkoulou

Nicolas Nkoulou of Torino FC in action during the Serie A match between Spezia Calcio and Torino FC at Stadio Alberto Picco on May 15, 2021 in La Spezia, Italy.

Nicolas Nkoulou has joined Watford, becoming the first signing for new manager Claudio Ranieri, who is looking to get the club’s season off the ground and steer the club away from the bottom half of the Premier League table.

  We are delighted to announce the signing of Cameroonian defender Nicolas Nkoulou.

Welcome to Watford, Nicolas!  @_AFEX

— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) October 7, 2021

Nkoulou has played under another Premier League manager in the past when he was at Marseille. He played for Leeds United’s highly-rated manager Marco Bielsa. The former Torino centre-back played 26 times during that spell under Bielsa but his playing time was curtailed due a number of injuries.

Nkoulou went on to sign for Torino from Ligue 1 side Lyon in 2017 and has made 128 appearances for the club in Serie A. At the same time, the now 31-year-old defender announced that he was retiring from international football having earned 75 caps for Cameroon since his debut in 2008.

NKoulou’s time at Torino came to an end at the conclusion of the 2020/21 Serie A season as his contract expired but he has struggled to find himself a new club until now and the arrival of Ranieri at Vicarage Road.

Torino defender Nicolas N'Koulou (33) in action during the Serie A football match n.4 TORINO - CAGLIARI on October 18, 2020 at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino in Turin, Piedmont, Italy. 

Ideally, NKoulou wanted to play in the Champions League again but with the lack of interest and time dragging on he needed to make a move to continue his long career.

Torino were said to be looking to offer the defender a new deal to remain at the Olympic Grande Stadium which would have extended his stay for a fifth season but eventually decided against that new deal and now Watford have landed his signature.

Nkoulou will wear the number 13 shirt at Vicarage Road.

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