Midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure views a failed loan move to Ligue 1 side Lorient as a positive, as he is now a key figure in Marco Silva's side.
The 24-year-old Frenchman had a difficult spell at Vicarage Road last season, following his move from Rennes in February 2016 and was initially on the fringes of the Watford squad.
For some time at least a temporary move back to France looked likely, but never materialised due to Watford and Lorient being unable to complete a deal before the closure of the summer transfer window last year.
However, after being forced to remain in England, Doucoure went on to have a run a good form under former boss Walter Mazzari, and become a regular fixture in The Hornets' midfield.
The midfielder has continued to impress under new manager Silva and scored in the opening fixture of the Premier League against Liverpool in a 3-3 draw.
Speaking to French newspaper 20 Minutes, as quoted by the Harrow Times, Doucoure can now look back on the failed move to Lorient with a different perspective.
Reflecting on the past and present, the former France Under-21 star said: “As soon as we started pre-season, I saw that I was not in the plans of Walter Mazzarri, so I immediately wanted to leave in order to get playing time.
“Lorient made an offer in the last minutes, but in the end it didn’t happen.
“The perspective was interesting, but I stayed at Watford, I played in the second half of the season, and this year I’m paying. I imposed myself and I am happy to be here.”