Troy Deeney went about dismantling Championship defences at will last season and having started the new campaign in a similar vein, he now has Tottenham, West Ham and Fulham apparently vying for his services.
Four goals in three opening games for Watford – including a hat-trick against Bournemouth – have rubber stamped his credentials as probably English football’s brightest goal-scoring talent currently plying his trade outside of the Premier League.
Perhaps a little surprisingly, the 25-year-old’s exploits have alerted Champions League-chasing Spurs to take note, though West Ham and Fulham’s interest is thought to be more concrete.
Until Andre Villas-Boas offloads either Emmanuel Adebayor or Jermain Defoe – who is still 1/3 to remain at White Hart Lane after the closing of the transfer window – then it feels unlikely the Portuguese would act forcefully to bring Deeney in so soon after the capture of record signing Roberto Soldado.
There is no doubt the prospect of playing for one of the Premier League’s top outfits would make an attractive one for the player, but his chances would likely be limited in such a star-studded squad.
A move to a team with slightly less grand ambitions would certainly make a more suitable step at this stage of his career and Upton Park would probably make the perfect fit.
At Fulham there is no doubt that Dimitar Berbatov is the top dog in the Craven Cottage pecking order with Hugo Rodallega the principle back-up for that main striking role.
Martin Jol likes to employ Bryan Ruiz to play in behind too, so bench-warming may be Deeney’s main occupation at Fulham, especially as Adel Taarabt has also joined the Cottagers on loan.
Meanwhile, even though Sam Allardyce has managed to nail down Andy Carroll on a permanent deal at the Hammers, his propensity to spend long periods on the treatment table could give Deeney his
best hopes of consistent minutes.
Both Ricardo Vaz Te and Modibo Maiga, who would be Deeney’s rivals for that central position, have often been deployed in wide roles, which would make the Watford man the best direct replacement for Carroll.
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