Everton F.C. have completed the loan signing of Spain Under-21 international winger Gerard Deulofeu from Spanish giants FC Barcelona, according to the club’s official website.
Deulofeu, 19, impressed a number of potential suitors at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey this summer, bagging two goals and one assist in four appearances in the competition.
The Spain youth international, a graduate of the infamous La Masia youth system, is one of the most highly-rated attacking prospects in Europe.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez is absolutely delighted with the signing of Deulofeu, and rightfully so.
The 19-year-old starlet is Martinez’ fourth signing this week following the arrivals of Antolin Alcaraz, Arouna Kone and Joel Robles.
“Gerard is a real diamond of Spanish football and a boy with incredible footballing talent and I am delighted that he has chosen to take the next step of his career with Everton,” said Martinez.
“He is a young man with a lot of potential to be a real star and the Everton family is the perfect environment for him to progress. The warmth, patience and understanding of Goodison Park is exactly what he needs to carry on fulfilling his potential.
“The experience that we have in our dressing room will help him in his development and he will bring a completely different penetrating approach to our group.
“We understand a lot of other top clubs around Europe were interested in Gerard so it is fantastic he has joined us.”
Deulofeu scored 18 goals in 33 league appearances for FC Barcelona B, in Segunda División, last season.
Palace sign Jerome Thomas
Thomas, who made just 12 appearances in all competitions under Steve Clarke at West Brom last season, will help replace the Eagles’ Manchester-bound ace Wilfried Zaha.
“I wanted to stay at the top level, which is obviously the Premier League,” Thomas told the club’s official website.
“I heard of Crystal Palace’s interest from January actually, and once they got promoted Ollie (Ian Holloway) gave me a call when I was away on holiday.
“We had a good talk for about 45 minutes and after that conversation there wasn’t much doubt in my mind where I wanted to go.”
Palace are expected to finish bottom-of-the-table next season, according to the bookmakers, and the club’s lack of ambition in the transfer window, albeit thus far, will certainly not boost their hopes of survival.
The South Norwood-based club have only officially added 30-year-old midfielder Stephen Dobbie from Brighton & Hove Albion to their squad, but Newcastle United midfielder Dan Gosling is expected to finalise a move to Selhurst Park sometime this week.
However, the Eagles need more quality and reinforcements — both offensive and defensive — if they are going to stave off relegation next season.