In September last year there was a feeling of both positivity and possibility surrounding Watford and Domingos Quina.

The midfielder had beaten former England number one Joe Hart with a breathtaking strike from distance in a pre-season victory over Jose Mourinho's Tottenham Hotspur, suggesting he would have an integral part to play in the Hornets' upcoming promotion push.

However, just four months later, he was told it was unlikely that he would be given much more game time this season and that it would probably be better for him to head out on loan, despite his enthusiasm to work with then newly installed head coach Xisco Munoz.

At the time, Quina was recovering from an injury, but had positive talks with the new boss and both were looking forward to working with one another upon his return.

"After my first chat with Xisco I was ready to stay because I had a great chat with him," Quina told the Watford Observer.

"He said he was excited for me to come back, he was excited to see me play and he was going to play me in my position - and I was really excited for that - but then some people thought it was better for me to leave and I didn't feel wanted.

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"I felt like Granada were pushing for me more than Watford, or were trying to make me feel like I was going to get more game time than Watford. In the end, it was an easy decision but at the start it was hard, because of the conversation I had with the manager, because I was really looking forward to working with him as well, I was really excited. But some things you can't control."

Munoz's arrival had provided Quina with something of a fresh slate after a difficult time under erstwhile coach Vladimir Ivic.

During the Serbian's brief tenure, Quina was primarily deployed out on the wing instead of in the centre, where the 21-year-old feels he can make the greatest impact.

Despite conversations between the player and the now-departed boss, nothing changed, leading to frustration on Quina's part.

"In pre-season, we had the new manager, everyone was buzzing, the energy was good and we were playing good football," he said.

"We were properly trying to play, not just fighting and stuff like that and I was really enjoying myself, but then after the season and the league started, something changed.



"I had a conversation with [Ivic] where I told him I felt I could be doing more for the team, but I don't think he saw me as that player and I understand. I was just trying my best in the position he was asking me to play, but I knew that was not my position."

Reassurances that he would be given a chance to play in his favoured role also contributed to Quina's decision to make the switch to Spain, but ultimately it was conversations with others higher up that persuaded him.

"I was happy to stay and help the team get back to the Premier League," he said. "But I had a chat with some people who didn't think I was going to get minutes in the Championship and they preferred for me to go. I wasn't going to be there just to sit there for another year and not play and Granada showed that I was going to get more minutes than at Watford - and they see me as a number eight, which is my position.

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"In the beginning I wanted to stay, but after having a chat with some people, I changed my mind and thought it was better for me to leave."

Since his departure, the 21-year-old has gone on to show more of his potential at Granada, scoring twice in his last three matches.

While Quina suggests this is a benefit of him being played in his favourite position, he also thinks that physicality could have played a part as well - something he hopes to be able to develop in the future, along with other aspects of his game.

"Physically it was harder, I'm not going to lie," he said of the Championship.

"I don't think it's harder than the Premier League where I played with Watford before when I was younger and weaker, but when we went to the Championship, people started saying I wasn't strong enough and stuff like that and I'm not going to lie, it puts you off a little bit.

"I know I've got a lot to improve, I'm only 21. Physically, I need to get stronger. I need to understand how to play defensively a lot better and I need to improve my decision making.

"I know I have to improve, I know that. But I think it's easier if I play in my position, where I've been playing since I was young, where I know how to play. I'm not a winger, so it was hard."

Regardless of how things have worked out this season, Quina remains grateful to Watford and does not see this as the end of his time at Vicarage Road.

He remains in very close contact with several first-team players and is hopeful they can return to the Premier League at the end of the season.

"I don't regret anything about coming to Watford. I've loved every single minute of it," he said. "In my head, I knew I needed to play in the Premier League and Watford gave me that chance and I'm grateful for that.

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"I'm still always talking to my teammates. Nate, Dre, Jeremy, Tom-Dele, they're my friends. Me and Nate we talk every single day and Dre also. Me and Nate we play Playstation almost every day together, so we're always talking together to see how they're doing."

From those daily conversations, Quina has learnt that the team is feeling positive following Munoz's arrival and the recent change of formation that has seen Watford win six of their last seven games.

He hopes it is enough to steer them out of the Championship at the first time of asking.

"I think the change of manager and of formation and style has helped," he said. "Everyone from what I've seen is more comfortable in their position and their role and what they need to do. Right now, I hope they achieve their goals. They deserve it, they really deserve it. They work hard and I hope they get back to the Premier League next season."

Whether or not Quina will be with them, be it in the Championship or the Premier League, is a decision yet to be made.

For now, the player is focused on his season in La Liga and repaying Granada for the faith they showed in him in January when he was still injured and unable to play.

"Right now I'm still a Watford player and I don't think that far," he said. "Personally, I'm just focusing on Granada and then we'll see what happens.

"They trusted me, even though I was injured. They called me and still wanted to bring me over and I liked that, that's why I'm trying my best to repay them their trust."