According to reports on Sky Sports, Everton are set to complete the £2.2million signing of Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu, although many figures have been bandied about elsewhere.
The 21-year-old has previously spent a successful loan spell with the Toffees in season 2013/14.
Last summer, the youngster said good bye to Everton and returned to Barcelona, only to be loaned out to fellow La Liga side Sevilla. He was expected to continue his development and progression in Andalucía.
However, his loan spell was a disaster. He made 22 appearances for Los Rojiblancos and scored just three goals. It was not exactly the impact that Sevilla or parent-club Barcelona would have expected from the highly-rated youngster. His performances for Sevilla even earned him a place in Marca’s ‘Worst Team of the Season’.
Sevilla boss Unai Emery put the youngster’s struggles at Sevilla down to a poor attitude. The former-Valencia boss even claimed that he would never make it at the top level of football, because of his attitude.
Coaches at Barcelona had previously questioned his attitude and whether he would have the right mentally to ever become regular in the Blaugrana first team.
However, at Everton there never seemed much talk of a bad attitude. The youngster was not always picked by boss Roberto Martinez and often started games on the bench, and there never seemed to be much sign of disgruntlement.
Martinez is himself a Catalan and is believed to be a good man-manager of players. Deulofeu is the sort of player who needs special attention and maybe that is why he failed at Sevilla.
Martinez was willing to give Deulofeu that attention in his loan spell and no doubt could be a good influence on the youngster in any permanent spell at the club.
Deulofeu comes across as a player who wants to be the star turn and has an ego that goes with that sort of belief. He wants to entertain the fans and in turn be loved by the fans. The Everton faithful warmed to his mercurial magic nearly straight away.
When Deulofeu’s loan spell finished at Everton he wrote an open letter to the Toffees fans thanking them for the support he received during his time with the club.
At Barcelona Deulofeu was always held in high esteem after coming through the clubs famous La Masia academy. He played at every level for his country from under-16 level to the senior national team, who he made his debut for in 2014.
Many expected him to become a key player for Barcelona in the future. However, he has made just five substitute appearances for the first team and never started a first team game.
His ability to do the unexpected and beat an opposition player had Deulofeu being compared to Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi. No doubt Deulofeu is mercurial, but he does have tremendous technical ability.
The doubts about his supposed poor attitude have really overshadowed the fact that on his day he is a fantastic footballer.
At times Everton lacked creativity last season, as England international Ross Barkley struggled for form and Belgium winger Kevin Mirallas fell out with boss Roberto Martinez. The arrival of Aaron Lennon on-loan in January provided a much-needed attacking spark to the Everton attack.
Deulofeu would definitely add something different to the Toffees attack next season. He may be mercurial, but he does have superb technical ability.
Everton boss Martinez attempted to bring Deulofeu back to Merseyside last summer for a second loan spell, but the youngster joined Sevilla instead. The Toffees boss is believed to have thought any permanent deal would be beyond Everton’s means.
However, Deulofeu’s believed unwillingness to go out on-loan again and his poor spell at Sevilla seem to have worked in the Toffees advantage.
A deal worth around £3million is an absolute bargain for Merseyside club. The fact that Barcelona will insert a buy-back fee of between £9million and £12million in the deal also makes the fee more understandable
In truth for a small fee like that, even if he is not successful in his second spell with the club he could probably still be moved on for a profit later in his career. If this deals comes off Roberto Martinez and Everton fans will no doubt be elated and so they should be.
The Toffees look to have secured the services of a very promising, skilful young footballer and for a very small fee. This has to be regarded as a major coup for the side from Merseyside.
Will Gerard Deulofeu be a success at Everton next season?