On February 1st, Catalan newspaper Sport took a look at Gerard Deulofeu’s loan move to Watford and weren’t impressed one bit.
Sport called it a ‘miserable’ move to a ‘minor team’ of the Premier League, and it was presented as another example of Deulofeu’s career not only stalling but going backwards.
Wednesday’s edition of the same newspaper has an interview with Javi Gracia, and a separate article on Deulofeu, and this time they’re rather kinder about the ‘luxury’ transfer.
The Barcelona owned player has ‘awoken the dream’ at Watford.
It’s explained Deulofeu was very much a signing at club level rather than down to the manager, and Gracia is quoted as saying: “Gerard made the decision to come. I didn’t speak personally with him. The contact was already made when they proposed it to me and I said that I was delighted to have him.”
A potential World Cup call-up is said to be an added motivation for the Spaniard right now, as it is for many players this season, and Sport put it to Gracia that Deulofeu is also doing well because there’s great belief in him from the club and coaches: “I would not pass the responsibility on to the coach. The player has his characteristics, fits perfectly in our philosophy and can provide us with many things, just as he can do with other teams and coaches. It’s not because I’m the coach that he’s going to offer this level.”
On whether Watford is a step backwards for Deulofeu, Gracia wasn’t having any of it and talked up the size of the club: “I always consider that the team in which I am is the biggest. For me, Deulofeu is at a big club and hopefully with our contribution and his, Watford gets even bigger. He is a young footballer with the qualities to be many years at the top.”
This time Sport didn’t mention anything about how ‘miserable’ they feel the move is, or how ‘minor’ Watford are.
Deulofeu’s transfer to Watford dismissed as ‘miserable’ move to a ‘minor team’.
Perhaps Barca’s friendly press should cast a more critical eye towards the club’s handling of the Deulofeu situation.
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) February 1, 2018