Everton have won the race to snap up in-demand Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu.
The highly rated 19 year old has linked up with the Toffee’s on a season long loan deal after an impressive season for the Catalan’s B side that saw him score 18 goals in 33 games.
The Under-21 International was part of the Spanish Under-20 side that reached the quarter-finals at the recent FIFA U-20 World Cup scoring 2 goals in four games.
Deulofeu has yet to make his full first team debut for Barcelona but did manage to make 4 appearances from the sub’s bench, two of which came in the UEFA Champions League.
A local boy, Deulofeu was born in Girona and joined the famed Barcelona youth academy in 2003 at the tender age of 9, making his debut for the B team at the age of 17.
The attacking midfielder is comfortable up front or out wide and is regarded as one of Europe’s most promising prospects.
Despite his talent, Deulofeu can be a frustrating figure and Barcelona have handed Martinez the task of moulding the player into a genuine star, a task the Spanish manager will no doubt relish.
Martinez revealed his delight at the capture of the starlet telling the club’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.”
The deal for Dulofeu completes a busy 48 hours for Martinez with the Spanish star becoming the fourth signing of new manager’s reign following in the footsteps of Arouna Kona, fellow country-man Joel Robles and Antolin Alcaraz.