Gerard Deulofeu admits he must shoulder some of the blame after failing to break into the Barcelona team this season.
Deulofeu, 24, was re-signed from Everton for €12 million last summer only to be sent on loan to Watford in January after making just 17 appearances for Ernesto Valverde’s side.
However, the forward harbours no resentment towards the Catalan club for letting him go and acknowledges that his performances were not good enough.
“A lot it is my fault,” he told Esports Cope. “At the end of the day, it’s me who has to earn the right to play more. I think I was better off the bench than when I had the chance to start games. I know I didn’t prove myself. I believe in myself more than anyone, but I recognise I was not consistent enough.
“I told [Ernesto Valverde] when I left [for Watford] that a lot of it was is my fault because he’d given me the opportunities I wanted.”
Deulofeu came through the academy at Barca and was widely tipped to be one of the club’s next big homegrown starts. But he’s frequently had to look elsewhere, with loan spells at Everton, Sevilla and AC Milan in the past failing to earn him credit back at Camp Nou.
Things looked to have changed when Barca re-signed him last June, although he feels it’s unlikely he will get another chance now following the club-record signings of Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho.
“I think it will be very difficult to go back,” he said. “You don’t have to be too clever to know that if Barcelona loaned me to another team, it’s because they have little interest in me.
“I was also in agreement that I had to leave because I hadn’t played for a month and a half and things weren’t working out. I want to play and be happy. I am not happy being on the bench.”
The Spain international is enjoying himself in England despite missing the last three games with an ankle injury and says he will decide what comes next in the summer.
“Since I arrived at Watford I’ve been really happy,” he said. “They’ve treated me differently. I have been able to play four games and I felt good.
“The injury was a shame, but I hope to be back soon and to play the final four or five games of the season. At the end of the campaign, I will have to speak with Barca and my agent, but I can’t say what will happen because even I don’t know.”
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.