May 15, 2014, 1:19 PM EDT
Everton’s biggest conundrum this offseason is whether they should pile their resources in an attempt to make this season’s successful loan spells permanent, or return the players and look to replace them.
However, they would struggle to replace the likes of Lukaku and Deulofeu, and their strategy going forward remains to be seen, and now it appears one decision will be made for them.
Spanish winger Gerard Deulofeu, on loan from Barcelona, said as much as he loved his time at Everton, his biggest hope is to return to Barcelona and compete for a spot.
“I would like to return to Barca and this is my first option,” Deulofeu told radio station RAC 1.
At just 20 years old, it’s conceivable that Deulofeu could come back to Everton for another year on loan if the Catalans decide he’s not ready for their level of expectations just yet. He was used mostly as an impact winger by Roberto Martinez, and it was highly successful as he scored three goals and registered four assists in 25 appearances, 16 of them off the bench.
However, with Barcelona coming off a down year, plenty of changes should be expected and it’s that type of environment where Deulofeu could look to make an impact on the staff.
“I feel very happy with the season I have had at Everton and have great respect for Barcelona,” Deulofeu said. “I also know I have to wait until the end of the season and then we will see what happens. Now I have had a year on loan at Everton I am waiting to be told something. Nobody has said anything to me.”
Barcelona plays Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp on Saturday in the final match of the season in the title-deciding match, and Deulofeu indicated he would be in attendence.
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