MX23RW : Sunday, October 21 10:58:04

Gerard Deulofeu set to return for Watford

The former Everton and Barcelona winger has not featured because of injury.

Watford winger Gerard Deulofeu is ready to make a first appearance of the season against Bournemouth on Saturday, manager Javi Gracia has said.

The former Everton and Barcelona player has not featured because of a foot injury and then a hip problem, but returned to full training last week.

Stefano Okaka, Miguel Britos and Sebastian Prodl will also be in contention again to boost the Hornets’ options.

“All of them have a chance,” Gracia said at a press conference.

“We have to know they are not in the best condition because maybe they need more training sessions to be better, but I think they can help us in the next game. We’ll see.”

Gracia is confident Deulofeu can provide another dimension to the frontline.

“He can play in different positions. If we keep the same shape he can play as a winger on both sides and as a striker as well,” he said.

“If we change the shape, to 4-3-3 for example, then he can play in the three positions as well.”

Defender Marc Navarro, though, has picked up a minor problem following his debut in the 2-0 defeat at Arsenal, so misses out as Watford seek to end a winless run of four matches.

“We have only Tom Cleverley, Daryl Janmaat, and Marc Navarro this week felt pain a little bit and I think he will not be available for the next game, but the rest of them (previously injured players) are training with the team,” Gracia said.

After their dip following an impressive start, Watford find themselves in sixth place, but could climb back into the top four with a win over Bournemouth should results elsewhere also go their way.

Gracia will continue to set the bar high for the Hertfordshire club.

“For me, Watford is the best – not the best of the rest. We will try to be the best of all and win all the games we play in,” he said.

“At the end of the season we will see where we are and we want to be not only the best of the rest.”

The Spaniard joked: “The champion? We try!”

Watford midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah was on Thursday called back into the England squad for the Nations League double-header against Croatia and Spain following his recovery from a serious knee injury.

Chalobah had trained with the England squad ahead of the World Cup, having been drafted into the senior set-up for the first time during September 2017.

“He is feeling better day by day after his injury,” Gracia said.

“He is now in a better condition and, in my opinion, he is a very good player for us and for the national team. I wish him the best.”

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