Gerard Deulofeu may very well be the most hyped player to come out of La Masia since Lionel Messi. The 20-year-old has been a a household name in Spain since he was a teenager, and now he will have the chance to showcase his skills on the big stage.
After a successful loan spell at Everton last season, Deulofeu will be part of the Barcelona first team squad and all signs point to new manager Luis Enrique looking to use the young winger in a big way.
Deulofeu possesses a lot of raw potential, but he has only seen one year of top flight action. However, that should not be counted against him.
Yes, Deulofeu still has a lot to learn, however, the winger is more than ready to make a big impact at the Camp Nou this season. Here is why.
He knows the system
One thing Deulofeu has over new signings this summer is a lot of experience with Barcelona. The young winger has spent nearly a decade at La Masia and is as familiar with the club as many established players.
Knowing the system and how the club works will play a vital role this season. Granted, Enrique is expected to make several changes to the style, but the target will stay the same. Deulofeu knows how Barcelona must play to succeed and has shown that time and again.
Additionally, spending last year at Everton gave him the chance to play in a different system, and against different opponents.
Though changes will be made to the system, Deulofeu already has the experience of playing in a different set-up, and that should help him acclimate to Enrique's adjustments.
Above all else, Deulofeu is La Masia born and bred. The 20-year-old has been well-known for many years and has the backing of teammates and fans alike. That will help him to comfortably find his place in this team.
No matter what obstacles stand in his way, this kid is insanely talented and that simply cannot be ignored.
He has top flight experience
Despite being only 20, Deulofeu has more than enough experience under his belt. Last year's loan spell at Everton was an important step for the winger, but it wasn't his first time playing in matches that carry a lot of weight.
He made 20 appearances for Everton last season according to WhoScored.com, showing that manager Roberto Martinez trusted him despite his age. It is also safe to say that Deulofeu paid back the confidence with many big performances.
Before making the switch to the Premier League, Deulofeu was already competing at a high level on the international stage.
The Catalan prodigy played a major role at every Spanish youth level, including helping the U-21 side lift trophies under the guidance of former manager Julen Lopetegui. As one of the faces of the Spanish youth side, Deulofeu has experience playing in big matches.
Because of his talent and proven skill at the youth level, Deulofeu recently made his Spanish national team debut back in May. It was clear that Vicente del Bosque saw that the Barcelona man was ready to start playing on the biggest of stages, and allowed him the chance to finally debut.
He will be given the chance to succeed
The past few years have not been that kind to young Barcelona players. Stars such as Cristian Tello and Sergi Roberto have struggled just to find playing time, but that should now be a thing of the past.
Luis Enrique has always been a manager focused on youth. He delights in giving young talent the chance to succeed, and he will continue that trend at Barcelona this season.
The returns of Rafinha and Deulofeu further showed that Enrique has one eye on the Barcelona youth players, and that he doesn't intend to just let them ride the bench. No, Enrique is looking for ways to give the stars of tomorrow their chances.
That being said, Deulofeu is going to have a big role in the Barcelona squad. With Alexis Sanchez and Cristian Tello now gone, the 20-year-old is going to be much more than a depth player.
True, he will likely not be fighting for a starting role, but he will see his fair share of minutes.
At the same time, both Neymar and new arrival Luis Suarez will be out of action as the new season kicks off, meaning Deulofeu could be thrust into the starting lineup from day one. With a plethora of chances at the start of the new campaign, and trust from Enrique, the Catalan winger has no reason not to prove his worth.
Simply put, Deulofeu is going to make a big impact at Barcelona because he is going to be given the chance to do just that. The Catalan prodigy is not going to watch the season pass by on the bench, he is going to have an important role, and a lot to say on how this campaign unfolds.
What will Gerard Deulofeu's role be at Barcelona? Will the starlet see significant minutes? Leave your thoughts and comments below!
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