Four years after swapping the Blaugrana for the blue and white of Everton in the Premier League, Gerard Deulofeu finds himself handed another shot at fulfilling his destiny at the Camp Nou.
The Catalan club has chosen to activate the buy-back clause to bring the young winger back to Spain, where new boss Valverde will size him up and presumably hope he can challenge the likes of Neymar and Suarez, as Barcelona look to seize the La Liga title back from rivals Real Madrid.
The 23-year-old, another in a long line of graduates from the famed La Masia academy, is expected to link up with his new teammates after returning from the European U21 championship in Poland.
A statement from the club read: “FC Barcelona have activated the buy-back clause for Gerard Deulofeu. In the following days, the terms will be agreed with both Everton and the player. Deulofeu’s contract will run until 30 June 2019.”
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) June 30, 2017
The tricky Spaniard was billed as a generational talent when he burst onto the scene as a 17-year-old under the watchful eyes of Pep Guardiola, who remains a huge fan. Having gradually fallen down the pecking order after the latter’s departure, Deulofeu went on to have a loan spell at Everton with mixed success.
A brilliant loan spell at Sevilla followed, where he was involved in some huge performances, before Everton came back in for him, this time on a permanent deal.
However, Deulofeu found himself being farmed out on loan to AC Milan after falling out of favor with manager Ronald Koeman – another man to have donned the famous Blaugrana during his career.
A promising career slowly fizzling into nomadic mediocrity seemed the only way it was destined to go, but the prodigious talent has been handed another lease of life at his home club, one that could see him go to the very pinnacle of the sport if he seizes it.
Written by Naren Madan
Freelance writer with an insatiable appetite for all things football. Up the Chels!