Watford have completed the signing of Spanish winger Gerard Deulofeu for an initial fee of around £11.5million. The winger arrives from Barcelona on a five-year deal.
Deulofeu spent the second half of last season at Watford on loan after he previously re-joined first club Barcelona last summer from Everton. In truth, the 24-year-old has had too many clubs for a player of his age.
Talented but temperamental
Barcelona youth coaches often loved talking about the technical ability of Deulofeu. Every coach at La Masia seemed to say the same thing, though. They said he was technically gifted, but there were massive question marks over his mental strength.
He can do magical things with the ball at his feet. On his day, he is a match-winner. Unfortunately, those days have come far too rarely in the winger’s career.
He is such a frustrating player to have on your team as a fan. He will get you off your feet one game, then he will be completely invisible the next game. Everton fans wanted him to succeed and he received a lot of love from Toffees.
However, the ones who watched him on a regular basis for the Blues were not devastated when he re-joined Barcelona last summer, which says something about the player.
The main reason for their apathy was that he had spent the second half of the season on-loan at AC Milan. He had also failed to nail down a regular starting spot on Merseyside.
Needs to settle somewhere
Deulofeu needs to settle somewhere and have the trust of a head coach. He tends to have a few games in a team before losing his place because of inconsistency. The Spaniard also has a tendency to hit the ground running at a new club, only for his form to start slipping once there a few months.
Maybe he would be slightly more consistent if he played every week. To do that Deulofeu needs to knuckle and display a better attitude. The winger came across as arrogant in his play at times at Everton.
Some will say that players with good technical ability often have that particular trait. That is a fine trait to have if you are delivering the goods on the pitch. If you are not, then supporters, teammates and coaches tend to get angry and frustrated.
Deulofeu has brought this emotion out of many a fan at the clubs he has played for in his short career so far. I hope that he can settle at Watford and finally start to fulfil some of his massive potential. How far Deulofeu goes is down to the player and how his attitude. If he knuckles down and works hard at Vicarage Road then the Hornets can see the best of the winger.
Watford fancied for the drop
It seems that Watford are fancied to suffer relegation next season at odds of 2/1. In fact, only Huddersfield, Brighton and two of the promoted clubs Fulham and Cardiff are shorter odds for the drop.
However, the Hornets were also considered one of the favourites for relegation last season, too. They survived, though and despite speculation over the future of head coach Javi Gracia, it seems they may actually keep a boss for more than a season.
I know it is an unusual approach from the Hornets. However, it could just prove a successful after seemingly changing their coaches with a good regularity.
For a team expected to fight against the drop, Deulofeu can be both a blessing and a curse. He is a blessing in the sense that he can often single-handedly win a game with a moment of brilliance. However, when the going gets tough he is not necessarily somebody who will dig and put in a shift for the team.
In short, Deulofeu should prove to be a good signing for Watford. No doubt he will aim to prove himself at Vicarage Road and then move back to a big European giant. If he were consistent then he would not have left Barcelona for a second time this summer. Hopefully the Catalan giants loss is Watford’s gain.
Can Gerard Deulofeu finally shine at Watford?
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