Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde admitted that Gerard Deulofeu's return to the club last summer did not pan out as the club had hoped following the 23-year-old's loan move to Premier League side Watford.
Since signing as a professional with Barcelona in 2011, Deulofeu has had loan spells with Everton - which did become permanent for two-years - Sevilla, Milan and now the Hornets. His inability to settle at the club saw him become the fourth Barcelona player to leave in January.
Speaking in a press conference prior to the Blaugrana's Copa del Rey semi-final against Valencia on Thursday, Valverde spoke of Deulofeu's move to England via Sport English: "These are things that happen.
"He was excited to get going when he came back [last summer]. And we were excited to have him back. He's had chances to himself and things haven't gone as we would have liked.
"I spoke with him and we both thought it was best to go and look for something else. We agree that it's best for him to get regular football, especially with a World Cup this summer and he has a chance of going [with Spain]."
delefeou is a weird footballer. Man went from Barca to Everton. To Milan, back to Barca. Now he’s signed for Watford🤣— Ï (@i_a__n__) January 30, 2018
Deulofeu did make 13 appearances for Barcelona in the first half of the season and Valverde was full of praise for how the Spaniard conducted himself whilst at Camp Nou.
He added: "I am happy with him on a personal level for how he has been here."
The 23-year-old has already hit the ground running for Watford having started in the Hornets' stalemate with Stoke on Wednesday, taking his career Premier League appearances to 63.