Troy Deeney has spoken for the first time about the decision to stay with Watford and spurn the advances of Leicester City in an article with the Sunday Times that claims he signed a contract worth £100,000 per week.
Deeney was the subject of three bids from Leicester City but Watford stood firm each time and were determined their captain was not going anywhere. Deeney would not be human if he did not have his head turn by a move back to the Midlands, with the champions, but his wife Stacey provided some words of wisdom.
“She said, ‘Why would you want to leave?,” Deeney says in an interview with Sunday Times football correspondent Jonathan Northcroft. “You’re the captain. Everyone loves you. You’ve got pressure to perform.
“I could have gone to Leicester, the champions, five-year contract, sat back because they’ve got Vardy, they’ve got Mahrez. And I could have scored 30 goals, finished third in the league and got to the quarter-final of the Champions League. Unbelievable — but it wouldn’t have bettered what they’ve already done. I’m going to say it for the first time, I want to be Troy Deeney that’s led Watford to Europe.”
So he sat down and thrashed out a vastly improved new deal with chief executive Scott Duxbury.
“Just pay me what I require. Let’s sit and speak about it like men,” says Deeney. “We sat down … at 11am and by 3pm I had signed.”
Northcroft, who conducted the interview face to face at the training ground, reports that the five-year contract is “worth £100,000” and “is easily the biggest in Watford’s history”.
It’s a far cry from the days when he joined the club from Walsall in 2010.
“Then I came to Watford and was earning four-and-a-half, five grand a week,” he says. “I remember my first pay packet. I was in the team hotel in Hatfield. At quarter past midnight on pay day I got up, ran straight to the cash machine in the middle of town, put my card in and quite a few numbers came up. I was ‘Wooah’. I took a picture of it and sent it to my mum. ‘What do I do with this?’”
Read the full, feature length issue in today’s edition of The Sunday Times.