Heurelho Gomes knows Troy Deeney better than most, and the veteran Watford goalkeeper has plenty of reasons for wanting his captain to remain at Vicarage Road despite speculation he is being chased by Newcastle United.
Deeney was already one of the Hornets’ longest-serving players when Gomes arrived from Tottenham Hotspur in 2014, four years after the skipper swapped Walsall for Hertfordshire.
He has since become Mr Watford, in many ways, but there is a feeling that owing to suspensions, his erratic form and inconsistent selection, it could be the beginning of the end for the 29-year-old.
“You can’t focus on one player, but he’s been important for us as few others have in recent years,” said Gomes. “He’s a face of the club, he’s very important but it’s up to him to decide what’s going on in his life and hopefully we can be together for a long time.
“Even if he’s not going to start, it’s important that he’s there, that’s he’s around.
“We have been together for almost four years, and we know how to manage situations which the manager can’t always do. It’s important for the group, and he’s been a big miss.
“Troy played very well against Bristol City, I’m pleased because he’s a top professional. What’s happened can happen because of frustration, but we respect him as a part of the group and an important player.
“We have to be together. When we win, it’s easy to say how good the players are, and when you lose people point the finger. But the most important thing is to understand him and his situation, and we’ve supported him all the way.”