Gerard Deulofeu Lázaro, born in the dominant house of football, is a star in waiting. Deulofeu is yet another youngster making news following the suit of Messi, Pedro, Bojan, Jordi Alba, Fabregas, Busquets etc. They all have one thing in common – La Masia!
The number 27 winger/ striker joined world’s most prestigious football youth academy La Masia in 2003, at the age of nine. One wonders whether he knew that he would be so big a prospect in a few years from then. La Masia, since long, has produced, and given to the world, excellent and world class footballers. But this is one of the most celebrated, and anticipated players from the FC Barcelona youth academy. Transforming from a young kid to a fully bloomed star, he has left all the scouts awe-struck.
Deulofeu is known for his speed, flair, agility and trickery with the ball. He has excellent close control, and his dribbling skills are similar to that of Messi. Being only 18 years of age, Deulofeu still has loads of time to develop himself, and hone his skills before exploding onto a bigger stage with Barcelona.
A former coach of his, Francisco Sanchez, had this to say about the young Spaniard, “Deulofeu is different from the rest, that’s what defines him.” “He was very individualistic, but is learning to be more of a team player.” “He is lethal in one-on-one’s and unpredictable.”
Graduating from La Masia with an A+ is no less than graduating from Harvard business school, rest assured about his career. This brings us to the point of the discussion – Who’s buying him?
With 9 goals from 35 appearances in the Barcelona B team, and coming on as a substitute for David Villa twice in the main team under Pep Guardiola’s reign, he has sent a message to the new Barcelona boss, Vilanova. He is the reason why Barca don’t need Neymar. But Barcelona, already armed with the likes of Messi, Pedro, and Villa controlling the front row, and Alexis Sanchez strengthening the pillars, Deulofeu might have to be blessed with a certain amount of luck or else, Vilanova will be pushed to either loan him for a couple of years or sadly, sell him.
Deulofeu, on the Catalan giants, says, “This isn’t a team, this is a family”. Barcelona would love to keep him, and he would love to continue with world’s best club, sharing space with Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi, the greatest of the game. Beyond the Catalan giants though, Deulofeu is the radar of major clubs in Europe. With every increase in the level of competition, there is a proportional increase in the need for footballers of the caliber of Deulofeu.
Recently, Premier League teams Arsenal, Liverpool, and Queens Park Rangers have shown deep interest in this young emerging star to power their team. QPR have asked for a loan period of at least 2 years, while Arsenal have made it clear they will only buy Deulofeu, and not loan him. With a Euro 7.5M benchmark, Arsene Wenger will have to look into his funds before he adds this fresh and powerful weapon to his Arsenal. In other news, Rodgers from Liverpool would be overly pleased to have Deulofeu join him in his journey to reconstruct Liverpool. Today, Liverpool are leading the hunt, but you never know if there’s another twist in the tale for this legend-in-the-making.
Surely, with comparisons already made to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, the greatest of the sport, this young lad is the next big thing!