If you have not already heard, F.C. Barcelona have loaned out Gerard Deulofeu to Sevilla F.C. And I am a bit shocked. As I was sitting down with my coffee on one hand and my phone on the other hand, I searched through the football news on The Guardian only to read this surprising move.
Throughout most of the preseason, Deulofeu was expected to be part of Luis Enrique’s plans for the 2014/2015 season. He was involved in all of Barcelona’s preseason games. Some fans and critics were happy with Deulofeu’s performances, some felt he needed improvement. I felt the young talent was superb. This is a player that Barcelona need!
Around the last three years, Barcelona have depended on Lionel Messi’s magic to propel the club to titles. The Blaugrana’s football philosophy exemplifies team play; yet, I see a team that plays for Messi and not with Messi. Let me explain what I mean.
The best example I can think of can be witnessed with Neymar Jr. If you watch the games where Messi and Neymar played alongside each other, Neymar did not play like the “crack” from Santos F.C. or the Brazil national team. He refused to dribble through opposition, opting to pass to Messi. And the same can be said when it came to shooting.
Alexis Sanchez fell in the same trap. Sanchez seemed stressed to play and please La Pulga, instead of playing his direct football. In fact, while Messi was out for two months on injury, it was Alexis Sanchez that stepped up. The Chilean impressed match after match– finishing La Liga season with 19 goals and 10 assists (according to WhoScored?).
The point of the matter is that players come to the Catalan club and feel they the need please the Argentine. However, Deulofeu is a selfish player that is needed at the club. I am all for team football, but too much team play offers little vertical game. During Barcelona’s preseason matches, Deulofeu dribbled against any opposition, adding penetration on the flanks; he dared to shoot from outside the 18 (very rare for Barcelona), and the young Spanish player did not fear the chance of being the star player. It may even seem that Deulofeu wants to be THE star of the Catalan club. These are factors Neymar does not dare to tamper with.
Of course, Deulofeu is not without flaws. Maybe a loan to Sevilla will help with his defending. The La Masia graduate contributes little on defense, mainly staying up high on the field without possession. Another reasons for Deulofeu’s departure is Lucho’s preference on Munir El Haddadi– a Barcelona B player that started on all of the preseason matches under Luis Enrique. We can only speculate on the new manager’s plans. But I for one remain doubtful with this loan. What are your thoughts on this loan?