Barcelona have seen the end of Gerard Deulofeu

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When Gerard Deulofeu finished his loan spell at Everton and returned home to Barcelona this summer, the expectation was that he was doing so because of a promised first team berth.

For a player that was evidently far too good for Barca B, a move up to the first team on a permanent basis seemed like a natural progression.

More so when the Catalans turned down another Toffees' approach for a loan this term.

Lack of application

However, a lack of application during pre-season training saw Luis Enrique wield the axe and farm the youngster out to Sevilla for the duration of the campaign.

For a player so dedicated to playing for his boyhood club, where he has been since the age of nine, he must fear that he has pulled on the Blaugrana for the final time even though he has matured somewhat as a player over the last 18 months.

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Where once he would beat his man, beat him again and then for good measure beat him once more before trying to score a "golazo," he has quickly learned to abide by the old adage that "simplicity is genius."

Martinez the right mentor

Honing his craft under Roberto Martinez was absolutely the right move at the time and crucial to his development.

So it's difficult to understand why it has gone so wrong upon his return to Barcelona.

The club themselves were more than happy to evangelise on Deulofeu's return and that of another prodigal son, Rafinha Alcantara.

The latter has been injured for much of the season but at least retains an interest in the first team when fit.

The way in which Deulofeu was bombed out at the last knockings of pre-season suggests that there's an awful lot more that Enrique wants to see from the player.

A lack of minutes initially at Sevilla prompted a phone call from president to president, but he seems to have settled into his new role and new home now.

Which begs an altogether different question.

Regular minutes

Every player thrives on confidence and Deulofeu is a player that needs to be loved more than most.

Let's assume his star continues to rise in Andalusia, where he is already treated like a god.

If he works his way into a regular starting berth, why on earth would he swap that for fleeting dalliances on the pitch and keeping the subs bench warm?

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