Everton

Analysing Gerard Deulofeu's Performance vs. Arsenal

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24:  Gerard Deulofeu of Everton in action during the Captial One Cup Third Round match between Fulham and Everton at Craven Cottage on September 24, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2013

This is the Gerard Deulofeu we were getting excited about before the season started.

The Everton winger hasn't had the best time at Goodison Park since arriving on loan from Barcelona. He's been making progress in recent weeks, and he showed the fruits of his labor on Sunday. The 19-year-old scored an 84th-minute equalizer against Arsenal to help the Toffees earn a 1-1 draw.

It was a fantastic goal from the young starlet, as he was somehow able to land a shot within the tightest of windows at the far post, past Wojciech Szczesny.

GIF via B/R UK

Deulofeu had only come onto the pitch as a substitute in the 79th minute. According to WhoScored.com, he had a total of 11 touches. Of course, it would take just one touch in order to get the Toffees level.

According to Miguel Delaney of ESPN, the player had no doubt he'd make an impact on the game.

Everton were in control for much of the game. When Mesut Ozil scored in the 80th minute, things looked bleak, however. With Deulofeu in the attack, Everton mounted a late push and get back into the match.

Having a player like that, even for the final 10-15 minutes, can often mean turning a defeat into a draw or a draw into a win. Deulofeu's speed and skill helped to exploit whatever fatigue was present in the Arsenal back line.

It was a performance befitting his massive potential.

For the past few years, Deulofeu has been listed as one of the most promising attacking players in the world. When Everton were able to bring him in on loan, it was seen as a major coup, much like getting Romelu Lukaku. These are players the club can't afford to buy, yet it's found a way to get them into the squad for at least a season.

In Deulofeu's case, it could be more.

Given his recent improvement, it will be hard for Roberto Martinez to keep Deulofeu out of the squad for much longer. The winger has been acclimating himself to English football, and his work rate has been increasing.

Deulofeu will be a player to watch as the Premier League season gets closer to the midway point, and Everton continue creeping toward a Champions League place.   

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