Written by David Robinson
When you think Watford FC, you tend to think Troy Deeney with the English forward a consistent figure at the club in which other surroundings are usually on the move all the time under the Pozzo family. He has matured during the last 4 seasons into not just an accomplished striker but an excellent leader being a key player on and off the pitch. The man signed from Walsall went on to score 20+ goals in three successive Championship seasons prior to last season’s Premier League, where I’m sure myself, amongst a few others would have been apprehensive as to how Deeney would fare. The results have been quite clear, 15 goals and 7 assists later, the Hornets talisman has been far more than just these statistics which when you think about it, is highly impressive given the 27 year old plays the supporting role to Odion Ighalo and works tirelessly for the team defensively. Deeney’s worth has been recognised by Leicester City who are believed to now have a £20 million bid rejected. I give my verdict on this transfer story and what it could mean for both clubs.
Is Deeney a £20 million player? The answer is simply no. It’s crazy that a player that wasn’t close to Hodgson’s 26 man England squad has had a £20 million bid rejected. In terms of ability the Birmingham born man can bring a bundle of hard work, leadership qualities and an element of good all round play. Deeney’s strength and hold up play as a result means he is the perfect match for a more prolific striker partner. His unselfishness is admirable and this desire to put the team first is an amazing quality to have. However this should not be what a £20 million represents. Troy is not ruthless in front of goal and although he has done incredibly well to get the goal tally he has, he is not a game changer. That being said if a team are looking for a target man who can act as a supporting act for a strike partner, you’d struggle to find a better player in the Premier League that has a similar style to Deeney. It just shows what drive and hard work can do.
Would Deeney be a good signing for Leicester? In my opinion all logic points towards no, certainly not for £20 million when the club will try and attract some high profile names following a title winning season. With Vardy believed to be going to Arsenal, this would effectively be a like for like replacement and if that is the case, it just seems illogical. Leicester were successful purely because of a system that counter attacked teams involving a high energy game. Vardy scored the large majority of goals through one vs one opportunities exploiting the space in behind defences. Signing Deeney would effectively have to change this system therefore taking away the strengths of the team and exposing the lack of real top class talent Leicester have. The Foxes already have a similar type of player in Okazaki and another option in Ulloa meaning it would be a strange deal. Ranieri’s men have already shown that they lack no heart or character and while the Watford captain would fit the personality bill that the Italian is looking for, Leicester can surely do better for £20 million and find a more suitable striker.
Deeney is the heartbeat at the club which is ultimately why the club would’ve rejected £20 million. A loss to the main man and leader at Vicarage Road could put the Hornets in bother next season where they will enter 2016/17 suffering from awful form towards the end of last season. The forward who arrived in 2010, certainly was well suited to Quique Sanchez Flores’s style last season. The Hornets mixed their game up and were comfortable hitting long balls up to the powerful striker. However I believe it would not be an issue if Walter Mazzari changed the style next season. Deeney’s adaptability is impressive and has allowed him to be a huge hit for the Hertfordshire club. Under a fair share of new managers, he has been the one who has always fitted in and his different qualities have allowed him to flourish. Similar to Leicester, Watford were effective as a counter attacking team just a few seasons ago. Matej Vydra was the main cog in this style benefiting from service from Deeney and others. This shows that the Skipper can adjust to any given situation but Leicester would be wise to pair him with a striker who’s game is based on goals.
A move away for Deeney could be a big risk despite the attractive amount on offer. In today’s market strikers will not be available on the cheap. Finding a replacement for less money who is likely to be a proven hit is incredibly difficult while it could also unsettle the balance of the squad. Question marks from outside the club have been relentless every time the club have opted for change in management asking when will the time for stability come? While all decisions from the top have been successful, you do wonder should a player as influential as Deeney leave, what the implications would be. That being said every player has his price. I do believe the Pozzo family could once again find the answer should Leicester come in with a bigger offer but I agree with the clubs decision to reject £20 million.
Watford fans, what offer would you be willing the club to accept? Leicester fans, would this be a good signing? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Franziska