This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Troy Deeney came on for just over 20 minutes in Birmingham City’s 2-0 win over Derby County on Friday night.
The former Watford striker joined The Blues late in August, putting pen-to-paper on a deal at the club he supports.
Deeney, who scored 140 goals in just over 400 games at Watford, joined the Hertfordshire club from Walsall in 2010.
Proceeding to be a regular straight away, and a consistent scorer of goals, Deeney enjoyed five seasons of Championship football, before five seasons at Premier League level.
With Deeney now at St Andrew’s, he will be hoping to gain regular first-team minutes, whilst pushing Birmingham towards the play-off positions.
With that in mind, three of our writers here at FLW have given their take on whether Deeney should start against Fulham on Wednesday evening…
Birmingham City’s hosting of Fulham on Wednesday evening presents the perfect opportunity for Lee Bowyer to rotate his forward options. Troy Deeney replaced Lukas Jutkiewicz in the 68th minute last time out and with the latter and 32-year-old less capable of playing three games in a week nowadays, Deeney should get the start here.
The hunger Deeney has shown to make the move in the first place suggests he will give everything on the pitch for the Blues, and with Fulham coming into this match off the back of their first defeat of the season, they could be a little more fragile than usual.
Birmingham have made an excellent start to the campaign and the signing of Deeney could inspire them to carry on that run, his presence up top will be a lot to contend with for the Fulham backline and will certainly whip up the St Andrew’s home faithful. Get him in.
It almost feels as though Lee Bowyer should wait for a loss or a lacklustre performance from his forwards before throwing Troy Deeney in from the start.
Because unless the Watford man is outclassing the likes of Scott Hogan and Lukas Jutkiewicz in training, then it sends the wrong message to start Deeney just because he’s Troy Deeney.
Fans will be eager to see him start and against a great opposition in Fulham, someone of his calibre and experience could be needed from the off. But it’s a tricky one because Hogan scored at the weekend against Derby and both him and Jutkiewicz did enough to earn a starting spot against Fulham.
Both of them would be professional enough to take being dropped on the chin, but privately, it would probably be a real blow to either man’s confidence. So it might be wise to bring Deeney on from half-time if either one of the two underperform against Marco Silva’s side.
Don’t be surprised to see him start, because he’s made for these types of games. But Bowyer has to think of his teammates with this one.
I definitely think it should be something that comes under consideration.
Deeney is clearly fit as he’s had a full pre-season with Watford and appeared twice for them off the bench in the Premier League before making the move to his boyhood club, and he’s someone that can really test Fulham’s centre-backs.
Whilst Tosin Adarabioyo is a talented youngster, Deeney is a player that could really get in his head and throw his weight around and get the better of him – Lukas Jutkiewicz could do that as well but Deeney is a much better player.
Jutkiewicz does give his all and he’s started every game for the Blues this season, however you do get the feeling that sooner rather than later it’s going to be Deeney over him as to who Scott Hogan’s long-term striking partner will be this season.
Deeney playing from the start will give Birmingham fans a real lift at St. Andrews and I think that Lee Bowyer will definitely be considering it and in my mind he should start Deeney on Wednesday night.