Is it time for Watford FC to move on from Troy Deeney?

Watford FC, Troy Deeney
WATFORD, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Troy Deeney of Watford celebrates after scoring his team's first goal from a penalty during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Newcastle United at Vicarage Road on July 11, 2020 in Watford, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

When Watford FC needs a helping hand, Troy Deeney always seems to answer the call. After a 2-1 victory over Newcastle on Saturday, the veteran striker believes Watford has “turned a corner.”

Sitting in fourth place at the bottom of the table, Watford has had a tumultuous 2019-20 campaign. Two second-half penalties secured the win and kept the Hornets alive and willing to fight another day. With teams like Norwich already sitting in the relegation zone permanently, Watford is struggling to maintain their Premier League status.

Their highly anticipated matchup against West Ham United on Friday could be the deciding factor regarding their retention. They are currently three points ahead of Bournemouth, who just thrashed Leicester 4-1 over the weekend.

The Hornets will face off against Manchester City and Arsenal to close the season after their matchup against West Ham. Even a draw would essentially guarantee their place in the Premier League, but with a -21 goal differential, Bournemouth is just three goals away from clawing their way back into the conversation.

Can Troy Deeney save the Hornets again from disappointment?

The 32-year-old skipper hasn’t posted double-digit goals since 2017 when he logged 10. With 24 appearances so far this year, he currently has eight goals and will be looking to add to his tally. His brace over the weekend gave him some essential momentum. But his clear lack of speed and agility have significantly hurt his production and effectiveness on the pitch.

Deeney told Watford’s official website:

“We can’t afford to be naive to the situation that we’re in.

“We’re in a relegation fight, we have been since the start of the season with the poor start that we had, but we’ve turned a corner and it’s in our own hands so we’re relishing that.

“We highlighted the last game (Norwich), this game (Newcastle) and the game on Friday as three must-wins and we’re two out of three so far.

“So we want to keep grinding away and getting better and hopefully that will lead into a better next season.

“I think you can see the change, I think you can see the desire, and that’s what everyone ultimately wants from their football team, and the performances will obviously get better.”

Deeney has one year left on his five year, $16.9 million pound deal. After his contract expires, I believe Watford should look elsewhere to supplement the position. He is simply not the striker he once was, and his elite status on the team has gradually decreased. While bringing him back as a reserve option on a cheaper contract might be beneficial, they cannot rely on him to be an everyday starter moving forward.