Gerard Deulofeu Will Take the Premier League by Storm Next Season at Everton
Everton could just very well have pulled off the best piece of summer business you're going to see.
The Guardian's Sid Lowe reported the Toffees have acquired Gerard Deulofeu on a season-long loan:
Everton have moved to sign one of Spain's most exciting young talents, securing Barcelona's Gerard Deulofeu on loan.
The 19-year-old, who is a Spain international at under-21 level, will join Everton for the season as Roberto Martínez looks to bring a different approach to Everton.
Martínez's arrival at Goodison Park was instrumental bringing the loan to fruitition. Barcelona trust in Martínez to continue Deulofeu's development and provide him with valuable first-team experience, while they are optimistic that a year in England will see him mature swiftly.
The is the kind of move you haven't seen Everton make in the past. Men in Blazers' Roger Bennett had a comedic take on the loan.
The words "Everton," "sign" and "one of Spain's most exciting young talents" were last used together in 1893 http://t.co/jH4Csu0pwv— roger bennett (@rogbennett) July 10, 2013
In the words of The Office's Michael Scott, this is a win-win-win.
Barcelona can watch one of their best young players get regular first-team football at a very good club in one of the best leagues in the world. Unlike watching young stars like Gerard Pique and Cesc Fabregas slipping through their grasp, Barca were smart to loan out Deulofeu before needlessly selling him for a fee.
With Everton, this can only help to build their reputation across Europe. There will probably be plenty of new fans who will watch the Toffees regularly now that they have Deulofeu on the team. These are fans who probably wouldn't have cared about Everton otherwise.
More importantly, talented players could see Goodison Park as a club where they can succeed. Look at what Michael Laudrup has done by getting the likes of Michu, Jonathan de Guzman and Chico. That's now a new destination for emerging talent in Europe.
Everton have always hovered close to the top four. They've never been seen as much of a cosmopolitan club, though, as they're stuck in the shadow of Liverpool. Signing a player like Deulofeu, even on loan, can reap Everton some major benefits off the pitch.
Some might wonder if Deulofeu will be able to handle the Premier League. While the league is very physically demanding, smaller Spanish players such as Juan Mata, Santi Cazorla and David Silva have had no trouble adapting to the EPL.
The defensive strength of the EPL is often overstated. Sure, there are clubs like Stoke City, but you don't see the defenders going around bludgeoning attackers unpunished. While defenders are physical, it's not to the point where flair playmakers can't succeed.
These aren't the days of Vinnie Jones and Roy Keane anymore. The league has moved past that point, and players of Deulofeu's size and ability have already proven themselves.
Is this a good move for Deulofeu?
One of the biggest positives for Deulofeu is that he's a pretty strong player for his size. He's not going to get bullied around too much.
Looking at the Spain under-21 side, it's evident this is a team that is producing stronger players who are capable of playing a more direct game. Barcelona have been evolving their youth setup slightly, and Deulofeu is a part of that.
His game is built to succeed anywhere he plays. With some Barcelona players, especially the younger ones, you wonder how they'd fare in a system radically different from Barca's. This isn't a player who relies heavily on Barcelona's tiki-taka system to succeed. Deulofeu knows how to play and create on his own. You can put him in a multitude of different tactical systems, and Deulofeu will be equally effective.
He's not going to try to dribble past every defender. Deulofeu is smart enough to know when and how to use his body to out-muscle the opposition.
As with any 19-year-old, there will be a bit of a transition once Deulofeu hits the Premier League. It's the same with any player, regardless of his nationality or where he played his football.
Deulofeu will be made a fool of at some points and make his fair share of mistakes. When he's at his best, though, he will provide some mouth-watering attacking moves and fully demonstrate the wealth of potential he possesses.
Another area of concern is that Deulofeu hasn't played much beyond the Segunda Division. Little first-division experience hasn't exactly stopped many Premier League fans from getting the Wilfried Zaha hype train from driving off the tracks, so why should it stop Deulofeu?
Rarely do you see such a smart piece of business during the silly season. Roberto Martinez and the Everton backroom staff deserve a lot of credit for pulling this loan deal off.
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