Watford striker Danny Welbeck is available for the first time since October as the Vicarage Road side face Everton on Saturday, manager Nigel Pearson has confirmed.

The England international has missed the last 18 games with a hamstring injury but is set to return for the Hornets in this weekend’s Premier League clash.

Pearson praised the Watford striker, claiming that he has a huge positive influence off field and is expected to have a similar impact on the pitch.

“Welbeck is in the squad. He is a really good player and a big character in the dressing room. He gives us another option and his track record is excellent. He has been training with the team for three weeks and has looked really good from his first day with us.”

Nigel Pearson on Danny Welbeck

Along with Welbeck, Pearson also welcomed back Will Hughes and Tom Cleverley to Watford training this week.

While Hughes is expected to feature and is available for Hornets selection, Cleverley will not be in the squad to face Everton.

“Will [Hughes] will be back in the squad. He has trained this week and looks good. It’s great for us when he’s playing as he’s done exceptionally well for us. Tom Cleverley has trained today with the squad and he looks really good. He won’t be included this weekend but he has made really good progress. It’s great to have talented players back in the fold. We know what Tom is capable of and he’s desperate to be back involved.”

Nigel Pearson on Will Hughes and Tom Cleverly

The return of key players will boost the Hornets who have seen an upturn in form since Pearson’s arrival at the helm of the club.

However, the injury update also provided some negative news for the Watford fans.

Winger Ismaila Sarr has suffered a thigh injury and will not be available this week.

“Sarr won’t be available this week. It’s disappointing to lose Ismaïla. He is making good progress, but he won’t be available for Saturday.”

Nigel Pearson on Ismaila Sarr

Sarr joins Kiko Femenia, Sebastian Prodl and Daryl Janmaat on the sidelines for the Hornets.

Nathaniel Chalobah also had a hip problem but is expected to be available for selection for Pearson’s side.

Watford are in 19th place, inside the relegation zone solely on goal difference.

The Hornets lost 2-1 to Aston Villa which ended a six game unbeaten streak for Pearson’s men who will be looking to get back to winning ways against Everton on Saturday.

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