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Quique: ‘Aguero-Forlan and Villa-Silva partnerships are not a patch on Deeney and Ighalo’

Quique Sanchez Flores had an informal meeting this afternoon after training with Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney and came away with confirmation in his mind that they are the best pair of attacking players he has worked with.

Only Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil have combined for more goals than Watford’s feared front two this season and quite how Ighalo and Deeney didn’t add to that tally at Old Trafford on Wednesday night was still perplexing a few at the training ground this afternoon.

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Not for the first time this season, Deeney looked frustrated on Wednesday night as his partner seemingly and continually played with the blinkers on and failed to spot, on at least one glaring occasion, Deeney was better placed than him when a shooting opportunity arose. Deeney teed him up at least twice at Old Trafford yet Ighalo rarely returns the compliment. Yet Sanchez Flores reports they remain in perfect harmony after a meeting that left him with a big smile on his face.

“I was enjoying a meeting with Ighalo and Deeney,” said the head coach when asked by WD Sport this afternoon. “We are enjoying a lot talking about life, talking about our team. We talk different situations, it was more than player and coach. We agree on everything and these kind of conversations are solid when we have common ideas. This is perfect.”

Odion Ighalo
Picture by Paul Dawson

Deeney has eight goals and six assists while Ighalo’s return of 14 goals and three assists shows he is more executioner than architect. Despite seeing their lean streak extend in midweek to just three goals in nine games, the duo’s link-up play and harmony was as good as it’s been in weeks.

“I was laughing with them as it’s impossible to find in the Premier League this level of telepathy,” said the head coach. “It’s impossible to find, including when I was training Villa and Silva [at Valencia] or Aguero and Forlan [at Atletico Madrid]. It’s not the same. They look completely different. I don’t how they do it. Deeney and Ighalo knows perfectly where the ball is and where each other is. They are like twins. They love to play together and I love to see this on the pitch.”