Following the completion of a £6.8 million move for former Barcelona B loanee Luis Alberto, The Times (subscription required) reports that Liverpool have turned their attentions to another Barcelona B winger – Gerard Deulofeu. Thanks to Barcelona’s signing of Brazilian superstar, Neymar, Deulofeu has slipped further down the pecking order and looks set to leave the Camp Nou on loan this summer in order to gain some first-team experience – although Brendan Rodgers is set to face stiff competition for his signature, with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Real Sociedad and Borussia Dortmund also keen on a move for the talented winger.
While Barcelona’s B team slipped to a ninth place finish this season – their worst since Luis Enrique steered the club back into the Segunda Division – Deulofeu recorded his best season to date, scoring 18 goals and registering a further six assists in just 33 appearances. As a result of these impressive performances, Deulofeu earned himself some game-time with the senior squad, including a rare start in the final of the Copa Catalunya against Espanyol. However, while Deulofeu has outgrown the Segunda Division, he isn’t quite ready to challenge for a first-team role in Tito Vilanova’s squad, meaning that a temporary move is the best option for both the club, and the player.
That much may be obvious, but what isn’t so clear is which club would be best suited for Deulofeu. Naturally, it’s no good for Deulofeu to join a club that cannot offer him first-team football – ruling out many of Europe’s elite – but ideally, Deulofeu will wish to gain experience on the continental stage, in either the UEFA Champions League or the UEFA Europa League. Certainly, Tottenham can offer him the latter, but would Deulofeu be guaranteed a starting role at White Hart Lane? Similarly, Liverpool are unlikely to offer Deulofeu a starting berth and in fact, Liverpool cannot even offer the latter after missing out on a Europa League place, meaning that Real Sociedad may be a better option than either of the Premier League clubs, dependent on the result of their UEFA Champions League qualifier in August.
Given the experiences of both Bojan, and Giovani dos Santos, Barcelona have been incredibly careful with Deulofeu’s career to date – and a similar attention to detail is absolutely crucial this summer as the Blaugrana plan out the next stage in what could be a long and highly successful career for the Catalan winger. With that in mind, which club do you think would be perfect for Gerard Deulofeu? Liverpool? Tottenham? Real Sociedad? Maybe someone else entirely? Vote in our poll, and be sure to expand upon your choice in the comments section below.