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I’m ex-Premier League star who may be forced to retire aged 29… I may never recover from mystery injury, says Deulofeu

FORMER Barcelona and Everton star Gerard Deulofeu has admitted to fearing may never play again after his latest knee injury.

Deulofeu, 29, is currently playing for Serie A side Udinese but has been out since January last year.

Deulofeu has admitted to fearing his career may be over

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Deulofeu has admitted to fearing his career may be overCredit: Getty
The player has undergone three knee surgeries in an attempt to save his career

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The player has undergone three knee surgeries in an attempt to save his careerCredit: Instagram @gerardeulofeu

13 months on from a gruelling operation, the winger has admitted to already planning for life after football amid doubts that he can return to the game.

Speaking on the Jijantes Twitch channel via Calciomercato.com Deulofeu said: “For several months I’ve known that I might not play again. I can’t do what I love for a long time, I haven’t played for over a year. I can’t say much, but I’m going through an ordeal.

“You can’t imagine what I’m going through. I’m trying to recover in every way, but I’ve accepted the idea that I may never recover.

“I had an injury in 2020, my knee was very traumatized, but I managed to recover. I then suffered another injury, for a third time and there were complications.

“I can’t say much because I have an agreement with my club, but I’ll just say that it’s a real ordeal, you can’t imagine what’s happening to me. However, I’m trying to recover in every way. But I’m also preparing for what could be a post-playing career.”

Deulofeu is still contracted at Udinese until June 2026 and Calciomercato claim that he could be offered a role in the club’s backroom staff should he be forced into retirement.

The player was reportedly close to linking up with Antonio Conte at Spurs prior to the injury in January last year, now 13 months later he is looking at retirement.

He went on to open up about planning for a career change after football and said: “Luckily I was able to make a big change on a personal level. I am happy with my change, for those who have been by my side and for what I have created in my life.

He was a fan favourite at Everton

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He was a fan favourite at EvertonCredit: PA:Press Association
And had two spells at Barcelona

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And had two spells at BarcelonaCredit: Reuters

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“This is saving me, because when you don’t have an organised life on a personal level, after such a hard blow, with so many operations on my leg… I probably would have fallen into depression.”

The winger did not expand exactly on what his plans would be if his latest operation is to force him to walk away from the game.

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Deulofeu joined Everton on loan from Barcelona ahead of the 2013-14 season before joining the Toffees permanently in 2015.

He then left Everton to join AC Milan in 2017 before returning to Barcelona, so he’s had quite the CV.

Deulofeu joined Watford in 2018 and was a key part of the team that made the 2019 FA Cup final.

Both Everton and Watford have shown their support for Deulofeu on X (formerly known as Twitter) after he went public with his struggles.

The winger responded to both clubs by writing “Love you.”

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