Ryan Cassidy’s short Watford career has garnered plenty of attention with a number of impressive performances at Under-23 level catching the eye.

Such form saw the 17-year-old rewarded with his first professional contract last month, and the belief is a player who has 15 goals for the Hornets Under-18s can go far.

Now, though, comes a bigger challenge than earning a senior deal, according the Troy Deeney, who says the spotlight will test the character of a player he sees a bright future for.

“I really like him, and like him as a player. If he can grow mentally and physically, he can be the next person to come through the academy,” Deeney said.

“He is a great kid. His attitude is good, but now he’s getting attention, people are talking about him and his money has gone up. That is when people start changing.

“I’ve done that first hand and I’ve been there, there are a lot of distractions. Hopefully we’ll steer him away from that, but also let him learn.

“It’s the same with players like Richarlison. People are saying he’s gone, but he’s a young boy and there is only so much you can tell him.

“Let them go through bad periods, because eventually you grow and become a much better person for it.”

Such is the exposure on young players today, few Watford supporters missed Cassidy’s start to life at Under-23 level as he scored a debut hat-trick against Bristol City.

It is a far cry from the sort of protection afforded young players in the past and Deeney feels Premier League prospects face a plethora of distractions – not least the pitfalls presented by social media.

“The problem for kids is social media has been thrown out there by agents and they want to brand themselves before they have done anything,” he said.

“There are girls on there too. When we were kids, we’d go to the ice-skating rink, or the local park and meet girls.

“Now it’s post a few pictures, hope they like them and do it all on your phone. It’s just the way the world is moving.

“There are so many distractions and catfishes, so keep your head down, do your job and you’ll have a long and successful career.”