Heurelho Gomes stresses Watford must do everything within their power to ensure Troy Deeney remains at Vicarage Road for the foreseeable future.
Deeney has been linked with a big-money move to Leicester City, a switch that would provide him with the opportunity to play in the Champions League and enable him to return to the Midlands.
“He is very important but if there is an opportunity for him elsewhere, and he thinks it is best for him, he needs to think,” said Gomes when we spoke to him after Sunday’s game. “But our fingers are crossed because we want him to stay. The club will do their best to make sure he does.”
Deeney has made Watford his adopted town and the reception he received at Wednesday’s awards evening, and the endless requests for selfies, again showed why he is the darling of Vicarage Road. We are told Watford have no wish or financial desire to sell Deeney, who has four years left to run on his contract, yet the ownership model is based on selling players at their optimum value and then moving for one of a number of possible replacements their famed scouting network will have been watching for months.
However, Deeney is a special case. His value to the team goes beyond the 15 goals and seven assists his has contributed this season and having decided to change the head coach, Gino Pozzo and Scott Duxbury will not want to jeopardise an extended stay in the money-spinning Premier League by allowing their inspirational captain to leave, too.
“Troy is a natural leader,” Gomes said. “He is an important part of the soul of Watford and I believe he will be very important for us over the next few years. Troy is a special man and a special player but without the other players then he wouldn’t be able to deliver the same performance every week. We are here to encourage him. If he sees somebody making a block or a tackle then he wants to do the same. He has done that all season. He is a fighter. He will never run away from pressure. He goes for it all the time. He is a great example for any player.”
*Additional reporting by David Anderson