Everton have announced the return of former loanee – and product of Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy – Gerard Deulofeu to Goodison Park on a three-year deal for a fee of around £4.2 million.
He follows former Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley as Everton’s second summer signing thus far.
The Spanish winger impressed during his time at Everton in the 2013/2014 season, scoring on his debut against Stevenage in the second round of the Capital One Cup. His first Premier League goal came in the club’s 4-0 drubbing of Stoke City, and he also scored the equalizer in the side’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal.
Deulofeu would go on to make 25 appearances for the Toffees, managing three Premier League goals and assists, helping Everton to a fifth place finish. The Observer listed him as one of the ten most promising players in Europe as a result of his fine form in January 2014.
His time at Sevilla during the 2014/15 season, however, was largely regarded as a disappointment, with the youngster finding the net just once in 17 league appearances. He did notch two assists in the 2-0 Europa League victory against Feyenoord, but overall failed to build on the promise he showed in the previous season.
As a result of his poor performances, he found himself listed in Marca’s “Worst team of the season” for La Liga.
Confident in Deulofeu’s talent, Everton manager Roberto Martinez said:
“Gerard needs no introduction to anyone here, for we are all well aware of his incredible footballing talent. We got to know him really well from his loan period, not only as such a talented player, but also his great character. He will be a fantastic asset to our club.
Gerard considers Everton as home and we are getting an even more mature player now than he was a couple of seasons ago.”
The mercurial winger officially joins Everton on July 1st, and his contract includes a buy-back clause that applies during the first two years, in addition to Barcelona having first refusal if Everton decide to sell.