Stelling offers verdict on how Watford's Troy Deeney will fare in Premier League

Carlsberg TVC Launch Peter Schmeichel

The Soccer Saturday anchorman believes Deeney is capable of emulating the achievements of Charlie Austin and Danny Ings.


Watford, after eight seasons away from the top table, are back for a third bite of the Premier League cherry in 2015/16.

They have hardly feasted on that most sought-after of fruit on their last two visits, with each of their previous top-flight campaigns resulting in rock-bottom finishes and delivering just 11 victories from 76 fixtures.

This, though, is a different breed of Hornets – with the club having been overhauled on and off the field since they were last mixing it with English football’s elite.

Whether they can hold their own this time around remains to be seen, with promoted sides rarely given much of a chance before a ball is kicked.

Watford have, however, offered enough in recent years to suggest that they have the tools required to compete with the best in the business.

Quique Flores – a Europa League-winning boss with Atletico Madrid as recently as 2010 – is the man charged with the task of getting the right pegs in the right holes, and he will be aware of the need for key men to deliver for him.

The most prominent of those will be club captain Troy Deeney, a seasoned campaigner readying himself for a first shot at the big time.

Now 27 years of age, a man with 116 career goals to his name – and 20-plus in each of the last three seasons – has matured into the leader of Watford’s pack and will be desperate to make a good impression having been touted as a capable top-flight performer for some time.

Carlsberg TVC Launch Peter Schmeichel

On his chances of emulating the likes of Charlie Austin and Danny Ings from last season – with both making the step up from the Championship with consummate ease – Jeff Stelling, speaking at the filming of the new TV advert from Carlsberg that transforms a simple five-a-side kickabout into probably the best kickabout in the world, told HITC Sport during a phone interview: “People always say, ‘can he make the step up in terms of goalscoring?’ People asked it of Austin and Ings, and they did it.

“With Troy Deeney, last summer after he had a really great season, I was surprised that he never got the chance during that transfer window and that nobody in the Premier League came in for him. He’s been fantastic. He’s captain of Watford as well now, which tells you a bit about how he’s changed and matured over the years. If you looked at him five years ago, no-one would have said he was captain material.

“I hope he scores goals and I think he will. Unless Watford change their style of play, certainly under the last manager they looked like scoring goals from every area of the field. I’m looking forward to seeing him and I think he will get goals. Watford will need him to get them if they are to have a chance of staying up.”

The first challenge facing Deeney and co arrives in the form of a trip to Everton on Saturday – a testing opener for new boys looking to find their feet at an improved level.

A solid performance and a positive result would set them up nicely, though, for the adventure ahead and if their powerful number nine can open his account for the campaign, all the better.

As the Official Beer of the Premier League, Carlsberg unveiled its latest “If Carlsberg Did…” TV advert during the traditional season curtain raiser between FA Cup winners Arsenal FC and Premier League champions Chelsea FC. Starring Jeff Stelling and Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel, the new TV advert from the brand transforms a simple five-a-side kickabout into probably the best kickabout in the world. Watch the advert by clicking here.

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