No post-match tweet. No inclusion in the match-day squad. No sign of him anywhere. Following Watford’s victory over Crystal Palace, the Hornets’ (former) Club captain Troy Deeney was invisible between social media and the stadium. So, is there a chance Deeney’s Vicarage Road race is finally at an end?
Regardless of whether this transfer window is the end of the line in Watford and Deeney’s relationship, one of the ones in the near future will have to be. That is solely on the basis that he is 33-years-old, meaning, simply stated, his best days are only getting further and further behind him and places for him as a player at the Club are becoming less available.
Especially if Watford maintain their Premier League status, unless the Club legend has a tremendous change in fortunes, there simply will not be room for him on the 25-man roster. Fans should of course remember him with nothing but fondness, but the reality that the best of his days are past cannot be ignored.
In 19 Championship appearances last season, he scored just one open-play goal. The Hornets averaged 1.78 points-per-match when he started and 2.06 points-per-match when he did not. The statistics tell the story.
Tuesday’s Potential Turn of Events
Whenever a Watford head coach stands in Deeney’s way of featuring, well, usually the head coach cannot get that far as either the player or the hierarchy will insist upon his inclusion. Yesterday, this was not the case.
Geoff Doyle of BBC Three Counties Radio Sports started dropping hints suggesting Deeney’s Watford future may be up in the air. Perhaps there are just lots of coincidences, but the stars are aligning for a departure to be in the cards.
Doyle said (via Twitter) that Xisco told him, “It’s a question about today. I used these players as I want to see everyone, and I give a rest to Sarr, Kabasele, Masina, & Troy also. Moment now for try to give the best for the team. We need to speak about the guys who played.”
Doyle proceeded to say how uncomfortable Xisco appeared when answering questions about Deeney and highlighted how U23-player Jaime Alvarado was selected over him. And, considering Deeney has only played 23 minutes over the first two matches, giving him “rest” is hard to believe. The other three players Xisco named have played all 180 minutes of the league season so far, making rests for them understandable. But, for Deeney, “rest” appears like it is an excuse for something else.
Depth and Summer Recruitment Suggest Time is Up
As Ashley Fletcher, Joshua King, and Emmanuel Dennis were brought in this summer, as well as Cucho Hernandez returning from loan, the Hornets have no shortage of options in the center of the attack. And, with Joao Pedro soon returning from injury, yet another talented, starting-worthy center-forward option will be available. Thus, Deeney may already be finding himself as a fringe player, as he could be as far down as sixth-choice already. In the clash against Brighton, King and Cucho were thrown into the fray from the bench before Deeney eventually was.
For fringe players, cup matches are the perfect time to get minutes in the legs to stay fresh in case a starting role becomes available via injury. So, for Deeney to not even make the match-day squad despite neither being injured nor ill is beyond just noteworthy.
There is a small chance Deeney mysteriously needed rest and there is nothing more to this whole situation. However, considering the whispers starting to swirl, the squad’s present attacking options, yesterday’s situation, and the current junction of his career, a departure for Deeney before the end of the month would not be a shock in the slightest.