Hornets Return | Bobby's Buzzing!
There was a welcome sight at the UCL Sports ground in London Colney today as a beaming Roberto Pereyra returned to full training following a long injury layoff.
The Argentine playmaker has been missing since December after sustaining a knee injury but he reported for the first day of pre-season, along with the rest of the squad, and took a full part in the morning’s screening tests and then the early evening training session, the first under new head coach Marco Silva.
“It’s quality that he’s back,” said captain Troy Deeney.
“He’s had a tough eight months and it could have taken a toll on him but it’s great to see him back and smiling. He’s had a good summer and looks in real good shape. It was a real shame when he got injured as it was one of those innocuous ones.”
The 26-year-old was just getting properly acclimatised to life in England when he picked up the injury at the Etihad Stadium, scoring two goals in 13 appearances and providing a real creative spark in midfield. He looked every inch like a player who had played in a Champions League final for Juventus against Barcelona.
“He can be very, very good,” added Deeney. “Our performances were never as good when he wasn’t playing. He’s a creative spark, scores goals, makes goals and works hard. He’s everything we need.”
Pereyra is the club’s record buy and having him fit and available again, after missing two thirds of the season, will be like having a new signing.
“Having a player of that calibre back is only going to benefit the team – and it’s also nice for the new manager to have a player of that calibre at his disposal,” said Deeney before expressing a note of caution, especially given the seriousness of the injury he sustained.
“We have to be careful as he’s still got to get back up to speed,” said the captain.
“We don’t want to place all this expectation on him as he’s still got to get up to speed fitness wise and get properly adjusted to the league. He was doing that just before he got injured.
“We’ve got to embrace the talent he has but also give him the time to find his feet. We can’t expect him to score a hat-trick against Liverpool, for example.”