In Troy Deeney transfer news, the striker has been linked with a move to West Brom… again. Deeney was linked heavily in the summer. Pulis is a known admirer but West Brom were not prepared to meet Watford’s valuation. West Brom look to be lining up another move in January but will Watford want to sell?
We look at the possibility of Deeney completing a switch and what it would mean for Watford and West Brom…
Nationality: 0 caps
Reported Transfer Fee: £25mil
2016/17 League Stats: 31 starts (6 sub appearances) 10 goals (4 assists)
2017/18 League Stats: 1 start (4 sub appearances) 0 goals (1 assist)
I was personally surprised by the talk of Deeney possibly leaving Watford in the summer. He may not have had the greatest of seasons on a personal level but he was still comfortably ahead of his team mates in terms of productivity. Deeney’s 10 goals and 4 assists put him well ahead of the next closest, Capoue with 7 goals and 1 assist and Okaka’s 4 goals.
However after seeing Watford’s business in the summer and how Marco Silva has preferred to set up his team this season for the first few games, maybe there was some truth to the rumours about Deeney’s availability. Deeney’s asking price was reported to be around the £30mil mark.
West Brom were the only team seriously linked but unsurprisingly they were not prepared to meet the £30mil asking price, which is double the £15mil transfer record they paid for Oliver Burke. There are suggestions that West Brom are hopeful Watford will lower their asking price in January or the summer. A £25mil deal has again been mentioned but it remains to be seen if West Brom can or will match such an amount or if Watford really are going to be keen sellers.
Pulis has been vocal in his admiration for Deeney and his interest in pursuing a deal which is a break from the norm as it’s becoming rarer and rarer for manager’s to comment on players which aren’t their’s. It might be viewed as bad manners by other managers but the honesty is refreshing and we the fans now know for certain there is interest which isn’t always the case.
Pulis himself said the transfer market isn’t a stable thing as players’ form drops and improves and their position within teams change as a result. I agree somewhat as this can apply to some players. Deeney’s situation at the moment is a good example of where this can apply.
New signing Andre Gray currently looks like he’s the preferred choice as Marco Silva’s lone striker but ironically against West Brom at the weekend, Deeney made his first start of the season ahead of Gray who was benched. Gray’s start has been steady, if not spectacular but the weekend showed the position is still very much up for grabs.
Deeney will definitely get chances to re-establish himself within the Watford first team this season but it will be up to him to take it and possibly others not taking their chances.
It won’t be easy though as Gray’s speed and off the ball movement gives Watford something extra upfront compared to the other strikers. Whilst Okaka started the season very impressively against Liverpool before injury and offers many of the same qualities Deeney can provide, such as strength, work rate and protecting the ball. Although Deeney’s determination and leadership qualities should not be underestimated.
Arguably Deeney would have an easier path to the first team at West Brom with Rondon, Robson-Kanu and Jay Rodriguez the competition.
Jay Rodriguez still hasn’t fully convinced he has got back to his best of a few years ago before serious injury. Whilst his versatility has meant he has been used in a wide attacking role mostly anyway. Robson-Kanu doesn’t seem to have Pulis’ complete confidence as shown by only 6 starts in a season and a bit. His transfer last summer was shrouded in controversy with Pulis openly admitting he basically ‘settled’ for the Welshman after missing out on main targets.
Salomon Rondon has looked unplayable at times in his 2 years at West Brom but those times have really not come often enough. 17 goals in 62 starts (and 10 substitute appearances) is less than West Brom would have hoped for when they signed him for a then record £12mil. Rondon also only scored his second goal of the calendar year the other weekend to further underline his recent problems. He looked a guaranteed starter for the Baggies but now he’s looking like a rotational/back up option at the very best.
Pulis’ approach might not be the most creative for attacking players to enjoy but even taking this into account, West Brom’s problems in finding a regular goal scorer aren’t new. In fact in the last 4 seasons only Berahino has scored more than 10 league goals (14 in 2014/15).
So you can understand why Pulis is looking for more firepower, West Brom need it.
Deeney is originally from Birmingham so there’s a lot of logic in the link to West Brom all round considering West Brom’s needs and a return to his roots. Do I think he’s worth £25-30mil though? No, not even in this inflated market. Personally I think £15mil is about Deeney’s value. He has a lot of other influential qualities but history suggests you’ll get around 10 goals a season out of him at the top level which isn’t great.
Deeney’s leadership and greater consistency than the current West Brom strikers would make him a decent signing for them. His work ethic makes him a good fit for a Pulis team too whilst his strength and hold up play will also suit the low defensive block usually employed, allowing team mates time to catch up with play from their deeper positions.
I doubt he will be the answer to their goal scoring issues however. West Brom would still need goals in and around him… something they would still lack.
I can’t see Deeney, as Watford club captain, pushing for a move unless he really starts to struggle getting game time so it’s going to depend on Watford’s willingness to sell and even more importantly the asking price. If Watford lower their demands to around the £20mil mark, which I can see happening, then West Brom are likely to make a move.
It’s still a bid excessive for me and I’m sure there’s better uses of £20mil even for a club like West Brom where the transfer options are a bit more limited.
He’s a decent transfer option but nothing more.
Would Deeney be a good buy for West Brom? Leave a comment below.