BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – Capital City Press
Scotland winger Ikechi Anya insists he always wanted to remain with Watford after signing a new lucrative five-year deal at Vicarage Road.
The 27-year-old was strongly linked with a switch to Celtic during the summer transfer window after impressing at both club and international level.
But after making seven appearances in this season English top-flight under new Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores, the Glasgow-born player insists he is more than happy with life at the London club.
Speaking to watfordfc.com, Anya, who has been included in Gordon Strachan’s squad for the forthcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers against Poland and Gibraltar, said: “I’ve had an incredible time here, this is my fourth year at Watford and it’s just been so good.
“When we came to talking about contracts this was always my first port of call.
“I wanted to stay here and I feel fortunate that they have given me a chance to do so.
“This is where I wanted to stay. You wouldn’t sign somewhere if you weren’t happy there, and this is why when I wake up in the morning and drive in I feel so happy.
“Why wouldn’t I want that for as long as I possibly could? I’m going to enjoy my time and try and do everything I can on the pitch to help the team.”
Anya moved to Watford in 2012 following a spell in Spain with Sevilla reserves, Celta Vigo and Granada.
It was with the Hornets that the pacey playmaker came to the attention of Scotland manager Strachan, and he collected the first of his 17 caps in the World Cup qualifying defeat to Belgium in September 2013.
The former Wycombe and Northampton player, who scored a memorable goal against world champions Germany at the start of the current campaign, added: “I’ve come a very long way. I’m very grateful to Watford for this opportunity.
“To sign for five years with a Premier League club, I feel so grateful and honoured and I’m hoping these next five years could be some successful times for Watford.
“The owner’s ambitious, he wanted to get us into the Premier League within three years and we did that.
“Obviously our main aim is to stay in the Premier League but after that we’re going to try and keep on progressing, and the sky’s the limit.”