After Milan prematurely announced that they had signed Gerard Deulofeu on their Twitter account more than a week ago, Milan made the official announcement about the 22-year-old’s arrival to the San Siro and gave the details about the loan that will last until the end of the season.
The former Barcelona trainee struggled to make the lineup at Everton under Ronald Foeman but thrived under former manager Roberto Martinez. Milan wanted the deal to include a buy-out clause, but Everton was unwilling. With just eight goals in 75 competitive appearances for Everton, it may seem peculiar that Everton didn’t include a clause, however; Everton is hoping Milan can incite the player’s form in the 2015-2016 season.
The winger’s greatest asset is his passing ability. When he was in his prime, Deulofeu and Romelu Lukaku was a duo that involved a lovely pass from Deulofeu and a finish from Lukaku. Who knows, maybe Deulofeu can form this interdependent partnership with Lapadula or Bacca.
The winger is very attack minded and able to pay on both flanks. He is most effective when he plays on the left wing, allowing him to either cut inside and score a goal or, more likely in recent years, make an assist.
Gerard Deulofeu’s physique isn't too feeble, but he can be bodied off the ball. However, Deulofeu can take on defenders with balance, speed & acceleration. These attributes give him the ability to score more goals and be more efficient at one on ones.
The defensive contribution of Deulofeu is extremely limited. While he always contributes in the attack, he offers little to nothing in defense. Also, he often loses his position on the pitch due to his constant movement. This results in him changing his position very often, and when the team loses the ball, it is hard for him to retain his defensive duties.
His lack of defense is one thing, but, Deulofeu's worst characteristic and biggest inhibitor on success is his mental game. At times the spaniard disappears and doesn't bother to follow team tactics and rules and would rather play spontaneously.
Montella needs to tap into Deulofeu's former self and, in addition, teach the winger a stronger mental game. At the tender age of 22, Deulofeu still has plenty of time to enhance his game and, maybe, make himself an important part of Milan’s first team. Looking at Milan’s team today, it seems Milan is investing in their future as they have a strong young core of players.
Hopefully, Deulofeu is the beginning of many more signings to come.