Gerard Deulofeu was once regarded as one of the brightest young talents coming through the ranks at Barcelona’s La Masia academy. However, the forward was never able to make the grade at the first-team level at Spotify Camp Nou, despite getting two bites at the cherry.
Deulofeu made his senior debut for Barcelona in 2011, under then-manager Pep Guardiola. However, having failed to establish himself, the attacker left the club in 2013 and had two seasons on loan at Everton and Sevilla, before joining the former permanently in 2015.
Two years later, though, Deulofeu would return to Barcelona, although he would last just six months at Camp Nou before moving to Watford.
Across his two stints with the Barcelona first-team setup, the 28-year-old made just 23 appearances, scoring and assisting two goals apiece.
During a recent interview with SER Catalunya (h/t AS), Deulofeu looked back on his time with the Catalans and admitted that he was not at the level required for a club as big as Barça, while also confirming that he would not return to the club.
“I had two stints at Barça and I am very grateful. I wouldn’t go back to Barça. My time has passed. I arrived at a winning Barça and not at a transitional Barça like now. I was not at the level, I was not up to it,” Deulofeu acknowledged.
“It was difficult to manage if you don’t have the right environment or the right mentality. I needed help and at that time I didn’t have it. Now, fortunately, I do. At that time I thought it was a boom.”
Currently thriving at Serie A side Udinese, Deulofeu admitted that he lacked the consistency to succeed at Barcelona, while also praising current youngsters Pedri and Gavi for the level they are showing at such a young age.
“No, not wrong. In the end I was a good player, but I was irregular. What I told you. I played one good game and four bad ones. When you come to a Barça like that, you need to be at the level of young, in-form World Cup players like Gavi or Pedri,” he said.
“They have an incredible level for such young players. I didn’t have it. I didn’t give the performance that Barça’s strikers gave. I had to leave. I was overwhelmed by the boom.”