Troy Deeney has signed a four-year contract extension with Watford, despite reported interest from many Premier League clubs.
Deeney scored 24 Championship goals in the 2013/14 season and 19 in the season before. And the 26-year-old shows no signs of a possible decline – already netting three goals in Watford’s opening five games.
He has to be described as a proven goalscorer by now and there is no doubt that many Premier League clubs are aware of Troy, scouting him at any number of Watford fixtures last season and in the present.
Before signing his current long-term extension with Watford, Deeney was linked with all three promoted clubs. He is club captain at Watford and has been their top scorer for the past two years, therefore his worth to the club will surely be massive if they themselves are to gain promotion anytime soon.
Deeney has been a prolific striker in the Championship with 48 goals in his last 96 appearances in all competitions – a strike rate of better than 0.5 goals per game.
So why is it that he is still plying his trade in the second tier and that no Premier League side is willing to gamble on a player entering his peak?
The first thing to consider is the price that Watford would ask for him. As I’ve already mentioned, Deeney is the club captain and rarely does a club captain leave a club. I would suggest that at least one of the clubs would be able to afford any reasonable demand for Deeney as QPR and Redknapp are not shy when it comes to spending large sums of money.
There is, of course, a possibility that Troy Deeney simply loves Watford enough to stay, but surely regardless of how much he is enjoying it, if Watford fail to gain promotion again this season Troy will surely want to test himself in the Premier League before it’s too late? It may be a dream for him to only play in the Premier League with Watford and so he is determined to get The Hornets promoted, instead of ‘going it alone’.
Premier League clubs are always looking for goalscorers and sometimes risks have to be taken. Deeney’s record would suggest that he isn’t that much of a risk, but just how much of an effect does the step up to the Premier League have on a prolific Championship hitman?
Take Danny Ings for example – he had a better than 0.5 goals per game record over the full Championship season last year but is yet to open his Premier League account so far this season. Famously, David Nugent had been a prolific Championship striker, but has yet to acclimatise to the Premier League. In his last 36 Premier League appearances Nugent has scored just six times, compared to his previous Championship campaign with Leicester City where he scored 20 goals.
To summarise, it is unlikely that a Premier League club will sign a Championship striker who will then go on to score 10+ goals per season. There will always be exceptions to the rule, and perhaps Troy Deeney could be just that, but it would undoubtedly be a risk – a risk that seemingly no Premier League clubs are willing to take (for now).