Quique Sanchez Flores agrees that Troy Deeney is the heartbeat of the club and the soul of the team, but acknowledges that his own situation has shown that nobody at the club is irreplaceable.
Reports emerged this week stating Premier League champions Leicester City are planning to make a move for Watford’s captain this summer. The Foxes will play Champions League football for the first time next season and will be looking to increase the depth and quality of their squad. Deeney is friends with Wes Morgan and Danny Drinkwater.
Deeney, who turns 28 in June, has four years left to run on his contract and the ownership structure is very much built on selling a player at their optimum value, but Deeney falls into a slightly different category as his value goes beyond the 14 goals and seven assists he has contributed this season. We understand he was at the training ground on Wednesday when Walter Mazzarri came down for talks.
“Troy Deeney is important to Watford,” said Sanchez Flores “He is part of the soul of this team. But I think I’ve said it before, nobody is irreplaceable here. However, Deeney is important because he knows perfectly how Watford feels. He is one of the main players of this team. The idea of the club is to grow and improve. When you add good players to the very good players you have, it will be an excellent mix.”
Leicester have a long-standing interest in Deeney. Two summers ago they made several offers for the captain, the last of which exceeded £10m. Deeney has made no secret of his desire to, one day, return to the Midlands and play for his beloved Birmingham City or even his first club Walsall. It is hard to see him agitating for a move as he moved his family to the area last summer and his son, Myles, is settled in the same Watford school as one of Odion Ighalo’s children and he plays for Watford’s academy.
Watford’s key decision makers have no desire to sell any player, particularly amid the financial security of the TV revenue that comes from being in the Premier League, but if the right offer comes in for any player, and the player shows a willingness to leave, they have the scouting network and a shortlist in place to swiftly and decisively find an alternative.