Where does Troy Deeney’s future lie?
FootyOn assess the options and ask whether Watford captain Troy Deeney’s future lies away from Vicarage Road?
Whatever you think of him, there is no doubt that playing for Watford has been the making of Troy Deeney.
Plucked from Walsall for an initial £250,000 aged 22 in August 2010, he has since gone on to fire the Hornets into the Premier League – alongside erstwhile strike partner Odion Ighalo – and keep them there.
With seven seasons of service at Vicarage Road under his belt, Deeney is by some distance the most enduring figure in the Watford dressing room this decade.
He had a short spell in prison over the summer of 2012, but bounced back from that off the pitch turmoil and was named Hornets captain at the start of 2014/15.
Deeney has played under nine different Watford managers and, should his long association with the club continue, he will have a 10th different boss next season in Marco Silva.
Stability is not a strong suit of the Hornets’ Italian owners, the Pozzo family, as they are changing coach for the third consecutive summer.
Staying put may mean more managerial moves
Although Sky Bet make Deeney odds-on at 4/9 to remain with Watford this transfer window, he could be forgiven for seeking a new challenge.
Only three men have scored more Hornets goals than Deeney (106), however, and he has now made over 300 appearances for them.
That puts him close to being in their all-time top 20 appearance makers.
Deeney was dropped by the now departed Walter Mazzarri towards the end of this past season, starting just one of Watford’s final four Premier League games.
Have Hornets fans seen the last of their longest-serving senior player?
If Deeney is to leave, then a reported release clause of £25,000,000 (after Walsall get their sell-on cut), must be met.
Here are his rumoured options…
West Bromwich Albion switch would flout family connections
Birmingham-born Deeney’s brother Ellis captained Aston Villa’s academy team but didn’t make the grade.
Deeney also attended a summer training camp organised by the Villans as a 15-year-old, but wasn’t offered terms.
Rumoured interest from Second City rivals West Brom is backed up by their Chinese investors.
Tony Pulis’ Baggies are short on goals, with top scorer Jose Salamon Rondon scoring just eight this term and once in his last 22 Premier League games.
Venezuela frontman Rondon’s seasonal tally is two short of Deeney’s, and he wasn’t always first-choice at the tail end of the campaign.
Albion are 3/1 with Sky Bet to sign Deeney this summer and, despite that history with Villa, it may be the best option if he wants a move.
It will allow him to remain local, as other rumoured suitors are further away.
Newcastle United have promised to spend
Now that the Toon Army have Premier League football to look forward to again, Mike Ashley has pledged to spend.
Rafael Benitez will hold the Magpies owner to that, and striking reinforcements that are proven in the division will be high on his wishlist.
A return of 23 goals in 67 Premier League starts so far and double figures in both of his top-flight campaigns to date mean Deeney ticks that box.
Based on the last two terms, he is better than a goal every three games when named in the starting XI.
Deeney would link up with a variety of different forward types on Tyneside.
There’s the physicality of Serbia frontman Aleksandar Mitrovic, threat in-behind of Dwight Gayle and deeper-lying Spanish support striker Ayoez Perez at St James’ Park.
Sky Bet are 7/1 about Deeney joining Newcastle this summer where the football mad Geordie fanbase would embrace him if he got goals.
Everton may appeal to ambition but how much would he play?
The Toffees certainly have the financial muscle to afford Deeney and possess the lure of European football for next season.
Ronald Koeman has taken the Toffees into the Europa League, but will he keep hold of star striker Romelu Lukaku?
Deeney has been nothing like as prolific as the big Belgium frontman these past two years, but this is a step up.
At Goodison Park, Deeney would be playing with higher calibre teammates, including Ross Barkley if he commits to the club.
It may take an ensemble effort to replace Lukaku if he leaves, though.
Deeney would have to prove himself in Europe and there are other targets for Everton.
The Toffees are 5/1 with BetVictor to buy Deeney, but there is no guarantee he would always be first-choice.
Leicester City looks like sideways switch
And finally, the Foxes have been linked with Deeney on more than one occasion.
They were a far more attractive proposition when they were Premier League champions, however.
Craig Shakespeare was only given the Leicester job until the end of this season, though managerial changes are something Deeney is used to.
Competing with the likes of Jamie Vardy, Islam Slimani and Shinji Okazaki for first-team football at the King Power Stadium looks like a sideways move.
Why should Deeney go there when he is established at Watford, and a new manager may restore him to their XI?
It just doesn’t make a lot of sense swapping one mid-table team for another.
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