20 Midfielder Sevilla (on loan from Barcelona) Spain
2014 has been...
…good but we want a bit more of everything please.
Gerard Deulofeu has been the next big thing for quite a while now. At youth level he became this mythical wait-till-you-see-this-one new Messi figure, and there were whispers that Barcelona were holding back the jewel in their crown till the last minute before having to let the cat out of the bag. All things considered that’s quite a reputation to live up to before your career’s even begun, and in truth he was never going to hit what were unrealistic heights anyway.
So where are we with Gerard Deulofeu right now? Well, you can see exactly why people were and (some) still are over-excited. He’s wonderful on the ball, gliding across the pitch and rarely bending a blade of grass, he’s got electric pace (can go full Bale when the afterburners are required) and has more tricks than a Magic shop. Quite the package, so why aren’t we all raving?
Well he needs to just do a bit more of all of that. He was just clicking into top gear at Everton where he was hamstrung by a hamstring, but had looked at moments enormously impressive. He packed for home in the summer with just shy of thirty appearances, a good chunk of first team experience in a tough league and a debt of gratitude to everyone at Goodison Park. You get the impression he genuinely enjoyed his time there and he wrote an open letter (everyone writes an open letter these days) thanking fans and staff for his time at the club. Straight into the Barca first team squad then right? Nope.
Despite assurances he was going to be a Barca player this season a loan offer from Sevilla was accepted. The player admitted his surprise, people at Everton were also said to be under the impression he was wanted at the Nou Camp as they had received a firm no to their own offer to keep him for another year. A slightly strange decision then, but also a mark of the quality available to Luis Enrique from within his Barca first-team squad perhaps.
So far he’s not really clicked into his best form at Sevilla but recent signs are encouraging and we’re sure the amazing moments are not far away. A very good year (to adapt to the Premier League on loan from a Spanish club at such a young age is not to be downplayed) but never really troubling higher than a C+ grade. Still, we’ve enjoyed ourselves.
Needs to turn it up to 11. People talk about him as something special because he is and there are moments where you can really see it. He was coming into his own before the injury with Everton and never quite got back to his very best; we hope Sevilla agrees with him as much as Merseyside did. When he runs at people he makes you feel like something’s going to happen, if he can get near to the hype he’s going to be enormous fun.
Barcelona are Barcelona. It will remain one of the very toughest nuts to break long-term first-team place wise. He has more of a chance than most in terms of talent but his manager’s decision to let him leave was a strange one. It could be perceived as a positive – get some more experience, come back close enough to the finished article to trust for a season in the first eleven – or it could just as easily go the other way – not good enough yet, don’t want to let him go but need to see something else to trust him. Either way, his future at Barca is not quite as safe as first thought. Is he next big thing? He could be and we’ll ask for no more than that for the minute. Thoroughly enjoyable to watch, we’ll keep on your case Gerard, here’s hoping we do get to see you in Barca colours at some point.
“Very exciting, not quite living up to the hype but who could? The loan this year was a bit odd, all the noise were that he was going back to play for Barca but it wasn’t to be, needs to take his chance at Sevilla and run with it like he did at Everton” – Dave Hartrick
"Since the start of last season, Gerard has either scored or assisted a league goal every 134 minutes." - OptaJoe
C+ The plus may look generous to some but it’s for those moments of genuine shit-did-you-just-see-that in and amongst the mere “good” stuff.
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