Everton manager Roberto Martinez has completed another potentially pivotal signing in a busy few days for the ex-Wigan manager. Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu has signed on a season long loan deal.
The 19-year-old Spaniard scored 18 goals in the 2012-12 season for Barcelona B; a contribution that saw him rewarded with a 4 year contract with the Catalan club.
Martinez told Everton’s official website: “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. 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.’”
Having been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo and seen as a particularly bright prospect for the future of Spanish football, the main reason for the move to Everton is to to gain first team experience. His creative approach will suit Martinez’ style of play and excite Everton fans in equal measure.
Deulofeu is Martinez’ fourth signing in three days following the influx of Ex-Wigan players. Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Joel Robles spent last season on loan at the Latics and the promising Spanish shot stopper has signed on a 5 year deal. Antolin Alcaraz signs for the Merseyside club after his contract ending at the DW stadium and Arouna Kone, one of Wigan’s stand out players last season, also makes the switch in the same direction.
Everton’s new club captain, Phil Jagielka has described the arrival of Kone and Alcaraz positively, saying “”I know Kone played most of their games and scored most of their goals and was a really big handful. Alcaraz at the back, he unfortunately had a few injuries last season and didn’t play as much football as he would have liked but, the same again, he was a very important player for Wigan.
“They are two fantastic signatures to get and hopefully they can come into what is now a good squad and make it a little bit stronger.”