Watford boss makes first signing as Barcelona winger joins

Date published: Tuesday 30th January 2018 8:27

Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu will make a return to the Premier League after joining Watford on loan until the end of the season.

The 23-year-old only returned to first club Barca in the summer after spending two seasons at Everton. Though he had struggled to make an impact at Goodison Park, Deulofeu impressed while on loan at AC Milan to persuade Barca to take him back.

Deulofeu becomes the first signing of new Hornets boss Javi Gracia, who took charge of the club on an 18-month contract on January 21, replacing Marco Silva following a downturn in results which the club blamed on interest from Everton in hiring Silva away.

The four-time Spain international has made 17 appearances in all competitions for the LaLiga leaders this season, scoring two goals, but has struggled for regular playing time at the Nou Camp.

Ousmane Dembele, who joined Ernesto Valverde’s side for £135.5million deal from Borussia Dortmund in August, started ahead of the Barcelona graduate in the starting line-up until the France international suffered a serious hamstring injury which ruled him out for nearly four months and gave Deulofeu his chance.

However, Dembele’s recent return from the sidelines and the signing of playmaker Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in the January tranfer window has seen Deulofeu fall further down the pecking order.

That has prompted a return to England, where he will hope to add to his five goals in 62 appearances in Premier League football.


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