Watford sign Gerard Deulofeu from Barca in £11.5m deal

Watford have announced the signing of Gerard Deulofeu from Barcelona in an £11.5m deal that sees the Spain international pen a five-year contract.

The winger spent the second half of last season on loan at Vicarage Road, helping them avoid being sucked into a relegation battle as they finished 14th in the table.

 The 24-year-old – who has four Spain caps to his name – turned out seven times for Watford, and scored on his home debut in a 4-1 win over Chelsea in February. 

“We are very pleased to welcome Gerard back to Vicarage Road and thank FC Barcelona for their part in concluding this deal,” said Watford chairman Scott Duxbury.

“Our ambition to succeed and grow in the Premier League remains as strong as ever.”

The player has been farmed out to Everton, Sevilla and Milan over the past five years.

Deulofeu made 17 appearances in all competitions for Barca last term, 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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