John Barnes exclusive: I'm happy Watford blocked Pedro Newcastle move – he and Sarr must stay

Watford great John Barnes is happy Joao Pedro chose to stay with the Hornets this season.

Pedro saw a move to Newcastle United blocked over the summer. However, after publicly expressing his frustration, the Brazilian did an about-face in August and penned new terms with Watford to 2028.

For Barnes, who also played for the Magpies during his career, Pedro chose wisely – and he hopes Ismaila Sarr does the same.

Speaking to on behalf of Bet365, he said: “No, I don’t think he regrets it, because of course going to Newcastle doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be playing every week.

“He’s young enough to then see what happens at Watford. And of course from Watford’s perspective I’m sure if they don’t make the playoffs they’ll cash in on those players… But of course, once again Watford are still now on the rise. They can make the playoffs, they can actually get promoted, and Watford would be a great club for them to be at, so I don’t think either of them will go in January. Maybe if they were much further down and they didn’t have a chance to make it into the playoffs that wouldn’t be the situation.

“In football now, opportunities always arise. It’s not as if you missed your opportunity because you didn’t go now, like it was in the old days. Whereas now, every January and every start of the season all these players are going to be mentioned for big clubs anyway.

“So, I don’t think they’ve made a mistake in not going at all. And Watford have done the right thing to keep them, because of course they can help them to be promoted.”