Watford have reportedly finalised the signing of Gerard Deulofeu from Barcelona for €13m. After much haggling, both sides settled on a price to make the 24-year-old’s arrival to the Vicarage Road permanent. Deulofeu had served a 6-month loan spell in the second half of the 2017/18 campaign in which he scored once and assisted another in 7 Premier League appearances.
The Spaniard served as a temporary replacement for Neymar in the early stages of the previous season at Barca. Ernesto Valverde was forced to utilise him in the left wing after Ousmane Dembele went down to an injury but was not exactly rewarded for his decision.
Deulofeu was decent as a backup option but could not uphold the required standards like his predecessor and quickly got dropped down the pecking order. However, the winger proved to be highly impactful in the English top-flight and was warmly welcomed into the Vicarage.
He proved to be a key figure in helping the Hornets maintain their place in the Premier League and was prolific in the side’s 4-1 triumph over Chelsea in early February. The 24-year-old used his prior Premier League experience to quickly settle into the Watford side and bring a different dynamic to the offensive lineup.
Deulofeu had already spent two seasons with Everton during which he made 75 total appearances and struck the back of the net 8 times. After a successful loan spell in 2014, the Spaniard was brought into the Goodison Park from the Catalan giants in July 2015 for £4.2m with a buy-back option.
Deulofeu somehow fell off the mark at Goodison as well and was sent out on loan to AC Milan for a short spell towards the end of the 2016/17 campaign. That very summer, Barcelona opted for their buyback clause and signed the attacker back into their squad.
The 24-year-old was trained in the side’s very own youth academy from a very young age and was also capped a staggering 87 times for the Spain youth sides. He made his international senior team debut on 30th May 2014 against Bolivia and has racked up 4 appearances till date.
Watford started the previous season in blinding form but eventually fell off the mark and finished at the 14th spot on the points table. Gracia had to undergo quite a few obstacles to take over Marco Silva’s system and turn it into a winning side.
With Deulofeu in the squad to better implement his tactics, the Golden Boys should now find themselves in a better position going into the 2018/19 campaign.
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