Southampton v Watford - Premier League

‘Deeney is a historic player for Watford,’ says Guedioura

Adlene Guedioura says it was vital to keep Troy Deeney at the club for what he is predicting will be a “tough season”.

Watford had to pull out all the stops in the summer to keep the captain at the club amid persistent interest from Leicester City, particularly as we understand he has moved his young family back to the Midlands as they have failed to settle in Hertfordshire. Myles, his son, has been pulled out of the same preparatory day school that at least one of Odion Ighalo’s children attend.

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A move to Leicester would therefore have suited Deeney down to the ground but Gino Pozzo and Scott Duxbury, during lengthy talks, reiterated the Hornets’ ambition and then thrashed out a new five-year contract with his agent, Simon Kennedy, a deal that strengthens Deeney’s position as the highest paid player at the club.

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“It was a really good thing [he stayed],” said Guedioura. “He is a historic player for Watford and he is a big character. We want that at the club. The club is growing and growing. We are happy he is here and he can grow with the club. It is good for the fans that Troy stays at the club. We didn’t talk about that [whether he would stay or go], we talk about the match. But he is here, he hasn’t said he is going and I don’t think there is any more happening. We feel he is here and we are happy he is.”

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A source told us that the captain reported back for pre-season as much as a stone overweight and he has certainly looked heavy so far. However, it failed to prevent him from peeling off to the far post and cushioning a header for Etienne Capoue to ram home the opening goal of Saturday’s game, a goal that helped secure a confidence-building point.

“I think it is going to be a tough season for us,” said Guedioura. “First we want to stay up and then we will see. We won’t say we will be top 10. We have to see where we are game after game and we will see where we are once we are safe. For us getting safe is important because it is a tough season – one
of the toughest difficult seasons in a long time. That is why we are happy with this point.”