Sent on loan to AC Milan after facing some struggles at making the first-team at Everton, Gerard Deulofeu managed to impress enough to earn himself a transfer back to Barcelona, all thanks to a buy-back clause inserted by the Catalan side in the initial deal taking him to Goodison Park.
The transfer wasn’t exactly celebrated by the local media, even if it was a young prodigy returning home, mostly because the La Liga runners-up were coming off the back of a rather mediocre season by their standards, and quality investment was needed.
So far, apart from starting the league season with a brace of assists against Betis, the winger hasn’t exactly impressed pundits and fans alike, and some early raised eyebrows are already being justified.
Ousmane Dembélé’s injury was the perfect opportunity for him to make one of the wide positions his own, yet the complete opposite has happened, with Deulofeu ending up in the stands for the past two games against Girona in La Liga and Sporting CP in the Champions League.
Now more than ever, it appears there might have been some sound logic behind Ronald Koeman’s decision to let Deulofeu leave for AC Milan.
Valverde’s explanation about leaving the former Everton winger out of his team were ‘mental issues’, suggesting the expectations were getting to him.
However, this has been the story of the Spaniard’s career, with early comparisons to a certain Lionel Messi plaguing him throughout his youth career and during his breakthrough season at Barcelona.
This followed him to Merseyside, and we all saw what happened there, even if his time under Roberto Martinez was slightly more successful.
Koeman might be struggling with his new look Everton squad, but allowing Deulofeu to go to AC Milan, which led to the buy-back clause being triggered, might have been one of his best decisions to date.
Otherwise he might have ended up with the problems Ernesto Valverde is currently facing.