• The Spanish midfielder endured a nightmare loan spell at the Canary Islands club due to injuries.
  • 23-year-old might not play a game this season after undergoing an ankle surgery in January.

Barcelona midfielder Sergi Samper returned to the Nou Camp late on transfer deadline day [31 January] after the Catalans and UD Las Palmas reached an agreement to terminate his loan spell with Paco Jemez's side, the Canary Island club confirmed.

The 23-year-old academy product was expected to be given a chance to impress Ernesto Valverde this campaign after spending the previous 2016-2017 campaign on loan at Granada.

The Barcelona holding midfielder was the only specialist to cover Sergio Busquets' potential absences and he proved his worth during an impressive pre-season campaign with the first-team.

However, Valverde decided the versatile Ivan Rakitic and Paulinho could provide cover in that role in case of emergency and late in August decided to send Samper to Las Palmas on a season-long loan.

The former Spain Under-21 international was expected to finally prove why he was once considered to be one of the next big things to emerge from the Barcelona academy.

It was said that former Las Palmas boss Manuel Marquez was ready to give him a leading role in his midfield to fill the gap left by the summer departure of Roque Mesa to Swansea City.

But Samper's time at the club turned into a nightmare since almost his very first day at the club.

The Barcelona loannee was tipped to make his debut in a La Liga clash with Malaga on 9 September but a muscle injury sustained in a previous friendly clash forced him onto the sidelines for almost two months.

Samper returned to action in a La Liga clash against Deportivo la Coruna on 30 October but by then former manager Marquez had been replaced by Paco Ayestaran and the young midfielder struggled to convince the new boss he deserved a regular chance.

It appeared the Barcelona midfielder was finally going to see light at the end of the tunnel when Paco Jemez took over from Ayestaran late on in December.

The Spanish boss was the manager who brought him to Granada the previous season and quickly gave him a chance to shine in his Las Palmas' midfield.

However, an ankle injury sustained during Las Palmas' 2-1 defeat to Eibar on 6 January hampered his adaption and eventually meant the end of his time at the club.

Days later, Samper was ruled out for a minimum of four months after undergoing a surgery to treat a fractured ankle that had also suffered ligament damage.

On 31 January, Las Palmas took the decision to send him back to Barcelona for the midfielder to start his recovery back at his own club.

"The UD Las Palmas, FC Barcelona and midfielder Sergi Samper, today agreed the cancellation of the agreement that linked him to the yellow club until June 2018," the Canary Island club confirmed late on deadline day.

"UD Las Palmas would like to thank Samper for his excellent behaviour and professionalism during the time he has defended the yellow shirt, as well as wishing him luck, both personally and in sports."

Samper's return was the only piece of business done by Barcelona on deadline day following a busy January transfer window in which they broke the bank to sign both Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool in a €160m (£140.2m, $200m) club record deal and Yerry Mina from Palmeiras for €11.8m.