Udinese forward Gerard Deulofeu has insisted he ‘didn’t think twice’ about joining Everton from Barcelona in 2013.

The Spaniard initially joined Everton on loan from the Catalan giants in 2014, spending a season on loan with the Toffees and flourishing under Roberto Martinez.

They failed to make that deal a permanent one that summer, with the forward instead spending an unproductive year on loan at Sevilla.

He would return to Goodison Park in July 2015, though, with Everton paying £5.4m to sign him on a permanent basis the second time around.

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Deulofeu would go on to make 75 appearances in all competitions in Blues, scoring eight goals and registering 18 assists in that time.

He eventually departed for AC Milan on loan in January 2017 before being sold back to Barcelona that summer in a £10.8m deal.

Unfortunately, his time on Merseyside failed to live up to its early promise, with Deulofeu having struggled to live up to the hype that followed him from the Nou Camp as a youngster.

Any reflection on his time with Everton is often met with a  twinge of regret, although it seems he feels differently.

“Everton was my real leap to the first division. I was 18 years old when I joined the Premier League, a very complicated league,” he told Panenka.

“The story could have been different, but fate wanted me to grow up at Everton and not at Barça. There is nothing to reproach them for.

“I came from two very good years in the reserve team, playing at an impressive level. After debuting in La Liga and in the Champions League, I needed to play. At Barça, it was difficult to get minutes; there was a lot of competition. I didn’t think twice about Everton.

“I ended up learning a lot; it was a very good period, especially under Roberto Martinez. To be able to step on the turf of incredible stadiums like Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge, or score a goal against Arsenal, was a real luxury for me.

“What I experienced at Everton when I was so young was crazy, wonderful. I didn’t get many minutes, but I was still able to play in a lot of games.

“The second period was much better. I had a very good season pairing up with Lukaku; I gave him a lot of assists.

“After that good period with Roberto Martinez, Koeman arrived, and I couldn’t continue. There are good times and bad times, things cooled down, and that’s it, that’s all.”