Football

Gerard Deulofeu may dent Barcelona's title aspirations

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What a game we have in prospect at the Camp Nou this weekend.

Barcelona entertain a Sevilla side that have carried on their good work from last season and go into the game just two points and three places below their hosts.

Gap

Ex-captain Ivan Rakitic will renew acquaintances with his former team mates and will no doubt do his utmost to widen the gap between his old and new employers.

However, there are other, returning, players who may have more of a say in the outcome of this one. Denis Suarez joined Sevilla on loan this season as part of the deal to bring Rakitic to Barca, and the ex-Manchester City youngster has wasted no time whatsoever if showcasing his enviable skillset to the adoring Andalusian public.

But he too is likely to be outdone by one of Barcelona's own. At the club from nine years of age, Gerard Deulofeu could reasonably have expected a first-team berth this season.

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After a fabulous education under Roberto Martinez at Everton, the young Catalan came home and was immediately paraded alongside Rafinha Alcantara in the new Blaugrana shirt. Luis Enrique wasted no time in talking up the talents of one of Barca B's most accomplished performers over the last couple of seasons.

Surprise

So, it was a big surprise when Deulofeu was denied a first-team squad number, and was then shipped out to Sevilla. Enrique cited a lack of application as the reason why he allowed Deulofeu to leave, and left the youngster in no doubt that this was the "last chance saloon" as far as his Barcelona career was concerned.

After a stop-start beginning to his career in Seville, Deulofeu has finally knuckled down and is no producing the kind of performance on a regular basis for which he is renowned. Unai Emery has had no issue with naming him in his starting XI and singing his praises in the local press.

Love

Supporters love him. An exciting and intoxicating mix of skill, speed and goals, it's easy to understand why the youngster is a fan favourite.

At the top of his game presently, and given Barca's own stuttering form in this period, could we see Deulofeu provide Enrique with a timely reminder of what he's missing? And resurrect his own Blaugrana career in the process...

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Topics:
La Liga
Football
Barcelona

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