Everton’s Gerard Deulofeu and some bandwagon jumping 0

Everton's on-loan Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu

I’m late to this particular party, as I’m not someone who has been raving about Gerard Deulofeu since he first arrived at Goodison Park, and nor was I one of those people who pretended that they had watched ‘lots’ of him during his time with Barcelona’s B team.

His performance against Stoke on Saturday was obviously excellent, and more importantly, it was the first time this season I’ve seen him use his extravagant ability to maximum effect.

When Cristiano Ronaldo - and no, I’m not comparing the two - was a young Manchester United player, he struggled with finding a balance between using his skill for personal gain and exploiting it for the benefit of others around him. That’s where there is a parallel between the two: Deulofeu is currently at the stage of his career where he’s learning how to best utilise his talent.

Some players never learn this, and that’s why a year of first-team football at Everton is so important to Deulofeu’s long-term development. Think of someone like Manchester United’s Nani, for example - all the ability in the world, but without the general appreciation of the game to be a truly elite player. He has the talent to be an occasional match-winner, but not the mentality to be a force within European football.

Deulofeu presumably enjoy a lot of success with Barcelona B, and probably beat opponents for fun during games, so it will be really interesting to see how and if he’s able to tailor his game to facing a better standard of defender within a quicker match environment.

With his balance on the ball, and the quickness of his feet, the sky is the limit if he can adjust his ratios accordingly.

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