Gerard Deulofeu had a very successful loan spell at Everton last year and looked poised to become a regular face in the Barcelona squad this season. However, ever since the club announced his loan move to Sevilla, there has been a bit of worry over his future at the Camp Nou.
It is shocking to remember that the winger is still only 20 years old. Deulofeu has been a hyped starlet for several years now, but it is important to understand that he is just a kid.
Regardless, this season’s loan at Sevilla will decide his future as a Barcelona player. Here is why.
To begin with, the loan makes sense to further Deulofeu’s development. Playing behind Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar would certainly not let the 20-year-old see regular playing time, which is something he needs.
At Sevilla, Deulofeu will be fighting for a starting role and would get the minutes needed to continue developing as a professional player. At the same time, he would have the opportunity to show just what he can do in the Spanish domestic league.
It was clear that his place in the Barcelona squad would have been foggy this year. Though he would have seen time in cup matches and a league game here or there, a player of his age needs to be more than a backup.
Playing at Sevilla will give Deulofeu the opportunity to grow and show just what he has got while playing against the same competition that Barcelona see every week.
However, the loan spell will do much more than just give him the avenue to continue growing as a footballer. This year will be vitally important in discovering just what his future will be at Barcelona.
When the La Masia graduate returns to Barcelona next summer he will be 21 and it will be time to decide if he will have a role to play for the team, or if he will be moving on. Similarly, the likes of Cristian Tello and Isaac Cuenca were both unable to cement their place at the club and the time at Sevilla will decide that for Deulofeu.
Deulofeu has been a Barcelona prodigy since he was a young teenager. Everyone in Catalonia knew his name long before anyone else but now is the time to see if all the hype will actually play out the way it was expected to.
It is no secret that Deulofeu wants to be a Barcelona player and defend the Blaugrana colors every week, as he stated last season to Radio Catalunya (h/t Sky Sports). But if he truly wants to earn his place at the club, he will have to make the most of his time in Seville.
When Deulofeu returns next summer, he must leave no doubt in the minds of Barcelona coaches and fans. If he does not perform well while on loan, he may be the next Tello-esque storyline that will see him teetering on the edge of exiting the club long-term.
Truthfully, the pressure that has been placed on his shoulders is far too much for anyone to bear at 20 years old but such is the life of a professional footballer. So much has been made of Deulofeu in recent years and now is his chance to prove that the hype was real.
This time next year, Barcelona fans will know if Deulofeu’s career will be played out at the Camp Nou. His future at the club rests with Sevilla, and it is time for the golden boy to pay back all the praise he has already been given by the Blaugrana faithful.
Will Gerard Deulofeu earn his place at Barcelona? Can the Catalan become a Barca great, or was the hype unfair? Leave your thoughts and comments below!