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Watford’s Deulofeu finally ready for selection

Watford v Everton - Premier League

WATFORD, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24: Oumar Niasse of Everton and Gerard Deulofeu of Watford battle for the ball during the Premier League match between Watford and Everton at Vicarage Road on February 24, 2018 in Watford, England. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)

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Gerard Deulofeu’s long road to back to the field may finally be reaching its end point.

The Spanish winger is reportedly available for selection for the first time this season, ahead of Watford’s match against Bournemouth this weekend. Deulofeu hasn’t played since the final day of last season, a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United, in which Deulofeu played 63 minutes before being substituted off.

[READ: Arsenal tops Qarabag in Europa League]

In the interim, Deulofeu was forced to sit on the sidelines with foot and hip problems as Spain crashed out of the 2018 World Cup to host Russia and his Watford teammates opened the season with four straight victories.

Saturday’s match could be the first change for Deulofeu to make a name for himself in a new permanent home, after bouncing between FC Barcelona, Everton and elsewhere over the last five years. Deulofeu returned to the Premier League last January with Watford, though he only made seven league appearances, but the club saw enough in him to purchase his transfer rights for a fee of around $15 million.

In his younger days, the now 24-year-old winger was a dynamic and lightning-quick attacker with a central midfielder’s technique to boot. But a string of injuries, plus a failure to ultimately make the grade at his boyhood club Barcelona, has left Deulofeo on the fringe of the Spanish National Team and looking like a shell of his former self. Perhaps his first appearance of the season could jumpstart would could be a crucial year in his career.