Watford winger Gerard Deulofeu has been ruled out of Saturday’s opening Premier League clash with Brighton through injury, according to Javi Gracia.
The Spaniard spent the second half of last season on loan with the Hornets from Barcelona before completing a permanent switch for 13million euros this summer.
He netted just once in seven outings last term but his overall performances have led to excitement about what is to come from the winger in the future.
Watford (3.00 to be relegated) fans will have to wait to see the Barcelona academy graduate in action in 2018-19 though due to an injury sustained in training.
Deulofeu has been absent from training over the last few days with an abdominal problem and Gracia confirmed he needs more time to fully recover.
However, Gracia revealed he will be able to call on Abdoulaye Doucoure, who has just recovered from appendicitis, when Brighton travel to Vicarage Road.
Gracia said: “Gerard started to train with the team last week, but he had a little problem.
“I think he will be ready in three, four or five days. Doucoure is fit and in a good condition to play. He’s a player with great commitment, making a big effort every game.”
Watford had a relatively quiet transfer deadline day with just one player arriving in the shape of Domingos Quina from West Ham.
Fellow midfielders Tom Cleverley and Nathaniel Chalobah will miss Saturday’s outing due to a lack of match fitness so Quina could go straight into the squad.