Everton have beaten Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur to the singing of Barcelona youth player Gerard Deulofeu. At 19 years old, the Spainish player is one of Barcelona's most promising stars and is set to further his development with a season-long loan at Everton.
"Gerard is a real diamond of Spanish football and a boy with incredible footballing talent and I am delighted that he has chosen to take the next step of his career with Everton,' said Toffees manager Roberto Martinez. "He is a young man with a lot of potential to be a real star and the Everton family is the perfect environment for him to progress."
Operating primarily in the front-three, Deulofeu has impressed while playing for Barcelona's B team last season. He scored 18 goals in the campaign but finds his passage into the first team blocked by the abundance of young stars in Barcelona's squad, especially with the arrival of Neymar this summer. It is believed that a season in the Premiership would be ideal for the player to adapt to football at the highest level. Martinez suggests there are better clubs than Everton to undertake this learning process.
"The warmth, patience and understanding of Goodison Park is exactly what he needs to carry on fulfilling his potential," said Martinez. "The experience that we have in our dressing room will help him in his development and he will bring a completely different penetrating approach to our group."
Given the possession oriented style of play Martinez is known for, Everton will likely play a system closer to Barcelona's than most other teams in the Premier League.
Deulofeu had attracted interest from fellow English clubs Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, both of whom were looking to bring in the player on loan. Winning the race for the player will give Everton fans huge encouragement for the coming season, as it proves that Everton is an attractive destination for Europe's promising players.
"We understand a lot of other top clubs around Europe were interested in Gerard so it is fantastic he has joined us," Martinez concluded.