Saturday 16 December 2017

Deulofeu craved Everton return

Gerard Deulofeu turned down offers from other clubs to join Everton
Gerard Deulofeu turned down offers from other clubs to join Everton

New Everton signing Gerard Deulofeu admits he turned down offers from other clubs to return to Goodison Park.

The 21-year-old graduate of Barcelona's famed La Masia academy completed a £4.2million move last week to rejoin the side where he spent a successful loan spell in the 2013-14 season.

It was that experience which lured him back despite opportunities to go elsewhere after spending last year on loan at Sevilla.

"I had a great year when I was here last," the winger told evertontv.

"I really enjoyed my time here. I felt loved by the Evertonians and I was surrounded by really good team-mates. I'm very happy to be back.

"Of course there were other options but I always said right from the start that I wanted to come back to Everton - you can ask my agent and he will say the same.

"This is where I feel happy, this is where I feel like I am loved by the fans. Obviously I went back to Barcelona and then Sevilla but here the fans live for their football.

"The Everton fans have been sending me messages all the time on social media, on Instagram and Twitter, asking me questions.

"If I have got 50 notifications on Twitter, 40 of them will be from Everton fans asking what is going on.

"Both myself and my girlfriend feel very supported by the fans and I just hope this year I can work really hard and give them back some of the happiness that they deserve."

Deulofeu was manager Roberto Martinez's second signing of the summer following the free transfer Tom Cleverley.

The out-of-contract Manchester United midfielder is reunited with Martinez, having spent a year on loan with him at Wigan, and he is looking forward to renewing the relationship.

"I think Roberto is a great manager and I'm massively looking forward to working with him again," he said.

"We obviously had a year at Wigan together that I really enjoyed. He knows me and he knows how I like to play, so hopefully we can hit it off again come the start of the season.

"He told me about how passionate the fans are here and about the young players who play high-energy football like myself, so hopefully I can fit right in with the squad.

"I'm delighted to be joining because it's a fantastic club. There is an all-round package with the history of the club, the great players that are currently here, the manager and the fans. It's definitely the club I wanted to play for."

Cleverley helped Aston Villa to the FA Cup final in a loan spell with them last season and he is hopeful he can help his new side to similar heights.

"It's difficult to think about targets so soon but it's a club that can definitely be fighting towards that top six and hopefully go on a good cup run, which was something I was lucky enough to experience this year," he added.

"European football is something a club of this size deserves to be in. I've had good experiences in Europe in the past so hopefully there are more to come with Everton."

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