Neville warns more Premier League players could follow Deeney's lead and refuse to return to training

Goal.com

Gary Neville has warned that more Premier League players could follow Troy Deeney's lead and skip their clubs' return to training this week.

On Monday, the Premier League announced that teams can return to training in "small groups" as of Tuesday, but Watford forward Deeney has said concerns over his son's health will see him steer clear.

"We're due back in this week. I've said I'm not going in," Deeney told the Talk the Talk show on YouTube. "My son is five months and he's had breathing difficulties. I don't want to come home to put him in more danger. You've got to drive in in your own kit, you can't have showers, then you've got to drive back home in the same dirty kit you've got.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

"While we are getting tested and while we are going to be in a very safe environment, it only takes one person to get infected within the group. I don't want to be bringing that home."

Having been suspended since March due to the coronavirus crisis, the English top flight is eyeing a return in mid-June, but Neville has said that goal could be undermined by players feeling unsafe at team training, revealing that there are more players prepared to follow Deeney in opting out.

"I know there are Premier League clubs with five or six players who don't want to return or are uncomfortable with certain things around stage two or three," Neville told The Football Show. "We do have more problems and issues to resolve over the coming weeks."

On Tuesday the Premier League announced that there were six positive Covid-19 results returned from a total of ‚Äč748 tests administered to players and club staff.

Those six individuals will isolate themselves for one week, and Neville believes that the key to restarting the Premier League will lie in entire teams quarantining for the time period needed to complete the season.

"I thought the way the Premier League wanted to go about restarting would revolve around players being quarantined not just for the 14 days before the first match but for a two-to-three-week period where they were going to shove the nine games so they could be played as quick as possible in a condensed period," the ex-Manchester United defender said.

"It would almost be like a World Cup where players are quarantined for a period. It's not unusual for players to be away for four or five weeks before and then three weeks for a tournament - I'm not sure why the games have to be spread over five or six weeks."

What to read next