The sight of Heurelho Gomes wide eyed, fists pumping frantically and roaring approval at the Rookery end in the wake of a Watford goal is one supporters have grown accustomed to.

It’s quite the spectacle, and speaks volumes of a player who has come to epitomise as much as any other the spirit which has informed Watford’s rise to becoming an established Premier League side.

Those celebrations, and the countless saves which have come with the Brazilian stopper’s 148 Watford outings, now look to be a thing of the past after the man himself admitted he expects to depart Vicarage Road. A desire for a new challenge as much as Javi Gracia’s reticence to deploy Gomes have no doubt informed the 37-year-old’s decision.

Gomes has made his desire to depart perfectly clear and his comments when talking to ESPN Brazil suggest little chance of a turnaround.

Likewise the impending arrival of Ben Foster – a keeper of equal measure and with less miles on the clock – will have hastened the decision. While a parting of the ways may be the desired outcome for Gomes, it is one which should bring little joy to those in charge at WD18.

Even if a deal for Foster is completed, Gomes leaving would represent a loss and leave Watford likely having to return to the transfer window to secure a third choice stopper.

Gracia would be loathed to use Pontus Dahlberg, who at 19 has great potential but is raw in the extreme, and could be left with just Foster and Daniel Bachmann as established options with the start of the season fast approaching.

In Foster, Gracia has found a fine Premier League stopper for a fine reported price of £2.5 million represents limited risk, but Gomes’ role is about more than what he offers after crossing the whitewash. It only takes the opinion of those he shares the Watford dressing room with to understand his importance.

By both experienced and junior members of the squad, the former Tottenham Hotspur man is held in high regard, with Troy Deeney including him in the leadership group he heads up as skipper. Perhaps the most obvious recent example of Gomes’ off-field qualities comes in the role he played with Richarlison.

Arriving in England from Brazil, the mercurial winger was always likely to find adapting to life in England a challenge. Enter Gomes and a mentoring role which the then 20-year-old has repeatedly said helped him settle quickly. The importance of such talents cannot be underestimated.

This is not, of course, to say Watford will sign a starlet from Gomes’ homeland who needs a protective arm around the shoulder every summer, but few can speak with the authority of Gomes on Watford and impart the club’s ethos on those around him.

Losing such a figure is never an easy one to absorb and there are a plethora of examples of clubs who have failed to adapt to similar departures.

With this in mind, Watford should think long and hard about allowing Gomes to leave and if they can find a compromise in which he is happy to play backup in goal they must.

Such an outcome may not be achievable, especially if Gomes’ will to depart is as genuine as his comments suggest, but there could be many worse moves than keeping him.

Should the opposite transpire, Gomes will leave Watford having contributed his fair share of memorable moments. Not least when mirroring the mood of those on the terraces in the unbridled joy of celebration.