Heurelho Gomes will not feel undermined by the arrival of a senior goalkeeper this month, insisting the club’s No 1 target Idriss Kameni has a stiff task on his hands if he wants to displace him as Watford’s first-choice goalkeeper.
The club are confident of wrapping up a deal to bring Kameni, the Cameroon international, to Vicarage Road in a move designed to increase their goalkeeping resources in the wake of the season-ending injury to Rene Gilmartin.
Kameni kept a third successive clean sheet for Malaga last night and at 31 and having just been been recalled to the national team after a two-year absence, he does not strike you as someone at the stage of his career where he is content to sit on the bench week after week.
“No-one is guaranteed a place over here,” Gomes said yesterday. “I’m doing my job. If someone else comes, he needs to fight for the place as well.”
We understand Gomes’ place is not under threat, with his value to the team far exceeding the excellent contribution he has made with the gloves. “I like Kameni but I love Gomes,” Quique Sanchez Flores told us on Thursday.
But the recruitment team know it would be remiss, with money in the bank, not to provide cover for a player who turns 35 in next month. An injury to the Brazilian would leave Giedrius Arlauskis as the No 1 and Nathan Gartside, the teenager, as his understudy.
The arrival of Brad Friedal, another senior goalkeeper, at Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2011 virtually spelt the end of Gomes’ time at White Hart Lane but, apart from the two aberrations at Leicester City, Gomes has not put a foot wrong in 18 months at Watford and is the undisputed No 1.
“I never had a problem with any goalkeeper,” Gomes said. “He [Kameni] needs to show on the pitch what he can do then there is a chance for him to play.”
*Additional reporting by David Anderson