By Danny Wright
Everton have joined Premier League rivals West Brom in the race to sign Watford captain Troy Deeney, according to a report.
The Sun claims that Ronald Koeman’s desperation to find a replacement for Romelu Lukaku has led him to line up a late swoop for Deeney, 29, who could be set to leave Watford following the arrival of Andre Gray from Burnley.
It is understood that Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose and Cardiff’s Kenneth Zohore are also on Koeman’s shortlist, but Deeney’s experience of Premier League football could be what sees him emerge as the Dutchman’s main target.
Everton’s chances of landing the powerhouse striker also seem to be boosted by Watford’s pursuit of Leicester’s Islam Slimani, which would add further competition to the strike force at Vicarage Road.
Deeney, who is known for his imposing physical presence in attack, has only earned one substitute appearance in Watford’s opening three Premier League fixtures having played 40 times across all competitions last season, scoring 10 goals in the process.
Football Insider Verdict
Deeney would be a very like-for-like replacement for Lukaku, but there’s no way he would be able to score as many goals as the departed Goodison hero. Deeney is the perfect striker to hold up the ball by using his strength and is also very good in the air and that could set up nicely for him to play with attacking midfielders like Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen. However Everton have a lot of money to play with and they need to be a bit more ambitious than swooping for a player who is hardly getting a game at Watford. Proven Premier League experience is essential, but there are better options for Koeman. The Everton manager needs to make sure he doesn’t fall for panic buying.