Former Arsenal midfielder turned Television Pundit Paul Merson believes Troy Deeney’s reported move to Arsenal could well happen this January, citing the Watford strikers footballing brain as a strong reason why he could fit in at Emirates (via Sky Sports).
Arsenal have been reportedly linked with the 27-year-old, who has six Premier League goals to his name, and caused the Gunners all sorts of problems in their 3-0 win over the Hornets in October. Deeney squashed any rumours recently however, admitting the link was ‘very flattering’ and wishes to focus on the promising season ahead at Vicarage Road (via Independent).
Despite the somewhat surprising link, Merson believes the deal is a real possibility as Arsene Wenger looks to strengthen his attacking options this January.
The 47-year-old Sky Sports pundit feels Deeney’s hardworking attitude and footballing brain could well the right fit for the Gunners, whose options up front are restricted to Olivier Giroud and the winger-cum-striker Theo Walcott.
“I can see the Troy Deeney one happening, I think he is a good footballer and works very hard for the team, so that does not shock me that one.” Merson told Sky Sports.
“He is a decent player, has got a very good football brain, never moans, and gets on with it.
“When you go and play for this Arsenal team, you need to have a good football brain and when I watch him play, that is what he has. I think a lot of people would be sitting there thinking: ‘Why him?’ But I can see that.
“You would be playing for one of the top teams in the world of football, they are in the Champions League, are in with a chance of winning the Premier League.
“What Watford are doing is pulling up trees, but do you want to play for a team for the rest of your career who might stay up or might not stay up?”
While Merson makes a valid point regarding Watford’s situation, Deeney is someone who lives and breathes the Hornets having spent over five years with the club and has been their captain since the departure of the one-and-only Manuel Almunia in 2014. He’s not about to jump ship halfway through his first Premier League season with the club.
The Englishman has been making waves this season but that largely comes down to his fruitful partnership with Odion Ighalo and his prominence within the side, something he wouldn’t expect with the Gunners. Does Deeney have the potential and class to fit into a top European outfit like Arsenal? Quite simply, no.
And we must always remember to take whatever Merson says with a large chunk of salt.