Since their promotion to the Premier League Watford have been somewhat underwhelming, despite the fact that their owners wanted to achieve Champions League football in their first season back in the big time. Troy Deeney, whilst tipped to make the England squad only a few months ago, now looks out of the first team picture.
The big man was Watford’s top goal scorer last season, but only managed to get 10 on the scoresheet, with four assists. In the last two days, Watford’s new manager Marco Silva has bolstered his attacking options by signing Andre Gray for a club record fee believed to be around £18.5 million. As well as this, Silva has beaten Chelsea to the signing of Brazilian U20 starlet Richarlison in a £11 million deal. Meanwhile, Deeney has only just returned to full training following his groin operation and now looks set to have to fight for his place back in the team.
However, it’s not just the new signings that are causing a stir. At the end of July, Silva stated that there was uncertainty over the captaincy of the team for the approaching season, leaving Deeney’s three-year tenure as captain under threat, as well as his hopes to make the 2017/18 season his fourth season at the helm. Deeney has had 10 different managers at Vicarage Road, but Silva hasn’t seemed to take to him as the others did. Mazarri too had problems with Deeney last season but he ended up getting the sack recently. Deeney is supposedly no longer content at Vicarage Road after a supposed fall out with Silva over the captaincy ordeal. Whilst Silva has insisted that he wants to keep Deeney at the Hornets, and rejecting a bid of £20 million from Leicester as evidence for this, he has also stated that he has no control over the ‘unpredictable transfer market.’
Leicester were interested in the striker, but instead broken the bank to bring in Man City starlet Kelechi Iheanacho for £25 million; Shakespeare now has 4-5 players who can be deemed first team strikers, so it is likely that Leicester will relax their interest. West Brom are another name being thrown around but it is rumored that they were put off by the price tag and wage demands required for a five-year contract. Swansea also looks likely to swoop for the target man, given that the departure of their own striker, Fernando Llorente, seems to be imminent. Swansea might not have approached Deeney yet, nor may they have the required funds, but with their star man Gylfi Sigurdsson set to join Everton this week for a fee of £50 million, they will need to find a new creative influence up front to avoid the drop, and they will be left with a rich transfer kitty in which to deploy.
I’ve heard one story from the Tilton Alliance group on Facebook, of a fan meeting Deeney at the airport in Dubai a few months ago, when the Bluenose asked Troy whether he would be joining the Blues he replied, “not just yet.” In May, Deeney was linked after betting was suspended on a potential transfer to Blues. He has spoken in the media of the transfer speculation linking him to a host of clubs a few months ago, suggesting that this paper talk has occurred for the last 9 transfer windows. He insisted that he is happy to stay at Watford, but if they wanted to be rid of him, he would just ‘shake hands’ and they could ‘move on like men.’ He said all this whilst he was firmly in the first team frame of Watford, it’s unknown how he now feels about the situation.
Deeney’s career hasn’t been free of troubles, he was sent to prison for 10 months during at the start of his career following a 3 am club brawl in Birmingham. He has since reignited his career following the long spell out, becoming the first Watford player to score over 20 goals in three consecutive seasons. Whilst his two Premier League campaigns have been slightly less prolific, there will still be a host of suitors waiting at the other end should he have to walk from Vicarage Park.
Whilst the championship remains an unlikely destination, Leeds and Wolves have had their links to him so it isn’t ruled out that he’d be unwilling to make the drop. However, he’s 29, and whilst that is slightly past a player’s prime years, he still has it in him to score twenty plus goals per season in the Championship. For Watford, he scored just three in his first season, the season of his arrest, before upping the tally to 12 the following season and then 20 in the 2012/13 campaign, 25 in the 2013/14 campaign and 21 in the 2014/15 season of Watford’s promotion.
The Ipswich game was calling out for a prolific finisher, and Deeney is just that. Following our thumping of Crawley on Tuesday night many people were tipping Che Adams to take the goal scoring burden of the team after scoring a celebrated hat-trick. However, whilst I don’t want to take anything away from the performance, Crawley is a lower League Two side, so it’s hard to judge what that means for the rest of Adam’s season. Whilst I’m personally tipping him to reach the 15 goal target he set himself for last season, I don’t think we can give up our search for a striker just yet. Fans have been crying out for a striker who can bag twenty plus goals a season, something Deeney has a proven track record of doing. He’s well known for being a danger man in the box, with towering headers and immense strength and an eye for a flick on, a long ball or a great assist when holding up play. However, quality comes at a price, a price that is as yet, way out of Birmingham’s budget. In a recent survey done by Birmingham Mail, the average price Bluenoses felt that he was worth was £11 million, which is probably about two to three times too small a price tag.
Given that it will be near impossible to buy him, we could offer him a way out of Watford for a season long loan. He would get to play for his boyhood club, whilst not making any permanent decision on his future, so he could choose to return to Watford with a solid season under his belt and regain his place in the starting line-up before Gray and Richarlison. In this way, he could rediscover his very prolific form without committing to moving to another club on a permanent basis.
Wages would be a stumbling block, Deeney earns the same amount a week as Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane, and Jamie Vardy, raking in £100,000 PER WEEK! That’s something that Birmingham won’t be able to match, given that we won’t even pay more than £3,000 a week towards Ravel Morrison’s wages in the hope of bringing him in on loan. On the other hand, we were supposedly willing to pay £40,000 a week towards Terry’s wages but Harry later said that he dodged the Terry deal because he feared that would take up too many funds required for other players. If Watford could compromise and pay a significant bulk of Deeney’s wages then Blues might just be able to strike a deal. It all seems a little crazy and a little in the realms of fantasy but if anyone can do it, Redknapp can.
My logic is telling me that this deal is impossible, but I must admit that there’s also a small part of me that’s hoping that Blues are being so cheap in the market because we are reserving funds for the deadline day swoop of Deeney. Maybe Deeney is the ‘player that will make the difference’ and the man who will complete the squad that Bluenoses can be ‘proud of.’ The vile looked close to landing a deal for England international Joe Hart on loan, so maybe there is the tiniest flicker of hope of Harry pulling this one off. Who knows?
What would you pay for Deeney? Let us know in the comment section below! Keep Right On!