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‘I rate Deeney as a player,’ says Arsene Wenger.

Arsene Wenger feels Watford’s captain Troy Deeney poses a major threat to his side tomorrow, despite the captain looking some way off his best in the first three games of the season.

“They were very efficient last year with the two strikers up front together, Ighalo and Deeney,” said Wenger who saw the pair combine to devastating effect in the FA Cup game at the Emirates “One of the keys for us will be to keep them quiet. I rate Deeney because he’s a player who has technical quality first of all, but he’s also a fighter. To find a player who combines these two things is not easy. He’s very strong in the challenges, the duels, and in the link play as well. I was impressed by him last year.”

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There was even talk of Wenger making a bid for Deeney in January but a move never materialised. Leicester City did make three bids for Deeney in the summer but Watford turned them all down and offered him a vastly-improved new contract instead. Deeney has not hit the ground running this season and has looked laboured. The captain is confident he and the team will come good and only get better.

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“It sounds like it’s all doom and gloom, we’re two weeks into the season,” he said in an interview with Sky Sports. “Last year we drew two and lost in the EFL Cup, and didn’t win until the second month. So I’m not exactly running to press the panic button just yet, but this is football, and if you don’t win in the first couple of games, no matter who you’re playing, everyone starts questioning the manager, the players.

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“Of course [we would have liked to have done better], but so would Arsenal, they haven’t won yet.

“We didn’t look at the first five games of this season and think the league is going to be defined by it. We’re just trying to keep everything in perspective.”