Birmingham City manager Aitor Karanka was full of admiration for Watford striker Troy Deeney following the Blues’ 1-0 defeat at home to the Hornets on Saturday, and even jokingly suggested the Blues could look to sign him.
Deeney is an outspoken Birmingham City supporter and he has even gained plenty of admiration from Blues supporters in recent seasons with some of his celebrations when he has netted for Watford against Aston Villa. However, those fans would have been less pleased with his latest goal which earned the Hornets all three points at St Andrews on Saturday.
The experienced striker has been a crucial player for Watford for a number of years now and despite reports he could move away, he remained at Vicarage Road in the summer. Deeney is now getting back to form after an interrupted start to the season and he now has three goals and two assists in nine Championship appearances.
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Speaking to Birmingham Live after the Blues’ defeat against Watford, Karanka heaped praise on the forward and suggested he believes he could go onto play another 100 or 200 matches in his career before he retires. He also responded in a joking fashion to a question on whether the Blues could look to sign the forward from Watford.
He said: “I don’t just see him as a good player because everyone can see how good he is, but I like him because I’ve spent a bit of time with him and you can see he’s a proper leader in the changing room.
“I have a very good relationship with him, he’s a top player.
“I’ve got to know him through my teams playing against him so I’ve got to know him as an opponent, I don’t know how many times.
“I think he can play another 100, 200 games because it is his club and whenever I spent time with him it’s always really nice The only thing about him that’s not so good is when he’s an opponent in front of you.
“He told me before the game [he supports Blues] and he told me he wanted to win the game.”
Karanka was asked whether he’d like to sign Deeney for Blues and joked: “If he wants to come! I need to speak to the CEO to see if we can borrow him! One day – hopefully.”
Deeney is a player that has a strong connection with Birmingham, and it would be a fitting addition to the squad were he to eventually make a move to St Andrews. The forward’s experience would be invaluable as well as his leadership skills and quality in front of goal. Those are qualities which could transform the Blues’ fortunes and ability to edge tighter matches.
However, Watford will be wanting to keep hold of their influential performer who is starting to produce the type of form that all around Vicarage Road know he is capable of. The forward is likely to be a key part of their bid to earn automatic promotion back to the Premier League making any chances of signing him highly unlikely.
Birmingham though should look for someone in a similar mould in January to try and help solve some of the issues they have had in scoring goals at the start of this season. You can not help but think that the Blues may have edged the game on Saturday had they had someone like Deeney up front for them.