Gerard Deulofeu 22 Midfielder Everton Spain
We don’t mind flighty wingers, we positively encourage it in truth, problem is occasionally they have to deliver. This young man was once dubbed the next <insert appropriate rarified comparison player> but the hype is dying as those exceptional moments are few and far between as it stands. When he’s good he’s near unplayable, the problem is the average is something far more put-in-pocketable, and he’s better than that.
We were hoping that the disappointing year at Sevilla where he eventually found himself out of the match day squad due to a lack of consistency or intensity was the exception, and the exciting first loan spell at Everton was the norm. We appear to have been wrong as it stands, we’re desperate for that to turn.
2016 has been…
We hold Deulofeu to a high standard for a reason. We’ve seen the games he’s turned on their head almost single handedly. We’ve seen the moments where he’s left a man for dead without so much as a moment’s heavy breathing. You see football comes easy to this young man, and perhaps that’s the problem.
There’s too many excellent runs with zero end-product, too many crosses that don’t beat the first man, and too many games that happen around him. At one point it looked for all the world like he was going to playing in Barcelona’s front three for the best part of a decade, and those people tipping him up for that were doing so for a reason, but alas the inconsistency is all.
It’s still in there but despite repeated challenges from his new manager (Ronald Koeman who seems a better fit that the far too forgiving Martinez) he’s still not found a level that keeps everyone happy for five or more games. We want to believe, we’re starting to waver. We’re encouraged by the last couple of weeks form-wise but have been bitten too many times to jump to his defence just yet.
Consistency: he doesn’t need to be man of the match for months on end, he just needs to find that 7 out of 10 level he can achieve regularly and look to build on that. If you think this review is harsh in tone that’s absolutely fair enough and you’re entitled to that opinion, but please understand it’s because we unashamedly love Deulofeu and have done since 2014, the first year we included him on this list.
So much of his review from that year we could copy and paste into this one - ‘needs to do more of everything’, ‘when he runs at people you feel like anything could happen’, ‘genuine shit-did-you-just-see-that moments amongst a lot merely ‘good’ stuff’ - and it feels like enough’s enough. Time to deliver on that faith and get back to basics. When the complicated stuff comes easier than the simple it shows a need to work harder. That big future could still be ahead; we will continue to quietly love you knowing you’re probably going to break our heart.
C More. More of everything. We’ll see
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