There’s a lot of frustration in Spain with Gerard Deulofeu and that he hasn’t yet reached the heights many expected him to.
A brilliant debut in a 4-1 victory over Chelsea this week has got Watford fans rightly excited that Deulofeu could now be ready to step up and show his undoubted class on a regular basis.
El Confidencial have voiced some caution. The Spanish newspaper explain that this is what Deulofeu does, he starts well and then drops off. It’s happened at Barcelona, Sevilla, Everton and AC Milan: ‘His first appearances are like a divine revelation, the appearance of a saviour’
There’s some truth in that, the Italian media were falling over themselves around a year ago to celebrate Deulofeu’s great arrival at Milan. He was potentially the face of the club’s return to prominence, and anything would be done to secure a permanent move from Everton.
But the hype got too big and then Deulofeu’s performances dropped off, and when Barcelona used their clause to get the player back from Everton, there wasn’t a great deal of disappointment in Italy.
Whilst the Watford player’s attitude has fairly been called into question on occasion, with suggestions he’s got a rather high opinion of himself, El Confidencial touch upon another factor: Barcelona never really had a progression plan for Deulofeu.
Brilliant as a teenager, the now 23 year old couldn’t quite breakthrough enough and became frustrated. Barcelona also became frustrated and shipped him out without taking the time to work out a plan which could see the player return and succeed.
It was similar in the summer.
Using their €12m clause, the feeling was it was only the cheap fixed price which motivated the deal, and a desire to potentially make a profit down the road.
At previous clubs managers have first been wowed and then left unconvinced, with Deulofeu shining brightly to start with and then ending up out of the team.
Things could be different for Watford, with Javi Gracia likely being grateful of any boost Deulofeu can bring, even if he then fades after 10 games. The lure of Spain’s World Cup squad could also be an added motivation, and see a stronger determination to succeed.
And with Deulofeu turning 24 years of age in March, and dropping down to Watford, a good Premier League team but still the smallest club of his career, it could give him an added kick up the behind.