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Blues Sign Barca Starlet

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

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Everton have signed exciting Barcelona starlet Gerard Deulofeu.

The 19-year-old forward is described as a 'diamond' by Blues boss Roberto Martinez and arrives on a season long loan and with a reputation as one of Europe's finest young prospects.

A number of top European sides were reportedly interested in securing the player and a delighted Martinez told evertonfc.com: "Gerard is a real diamond of Spanish football and a boy with incredible footballing talent and I am delighted that he has chosen to take the next step of his career with Everton."

A product of La Masia, Barcelona's famed youth system, Deulofeu played last season for the Catalan giants' 'B' team, scoring 18 times in 33 matches.

He has also made a handful of substitute appearances for Barca's senior side in the league, cup and Champions League and impressed enough to be handed a long term contract at the Nou Camp earlier this summer.

The 5ft 10in flyer is comfortable on either wing or behind the striker and renowned for his expert close control, swift changes of direction and unerring finishing.

Deulofeu has played for Spain's Under-17s, Under-19s, Under-20s and Under-21s and joins a growing band of Spanish speakers under Everton manager Martinez.

He will join up with the Blues squad later this summer after enjoying a well-earned break following his involvement in the recent Under-20s World Cup in Turkey.

Watch Everton's pre-season games live: www.evertonfc.com/evertontvlive

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