Everton are renowned for committing some of the biggest transfer howlers in the Premier League since the arrival of current owner Farhad Moshiri who has spent well over £500m on signings over the last six years, but it’s not just the incoming flops that have dictated the Toffees’ owners reputation for disasters.
As well as completing underwhelming deals that have led Everton to nothing but a relegation battle over the last campaign, Moshiri has let go of a few raw diamonds that have gone on to bigger and better things, with one outgoing decision from 2017 coming back to bite the club.
Five years ago Barcelona activated their buy-back clause after Gerard Deulofeu completed just two years of his permanent contract with the Toffees when he fell down the pecking order at the club, and now the Spanish star is outperforming Kylian Mbappe at Udinese Calcio in the Serie A.
Remarkably, the talented centre-forward has a higher expected threat (1.78) than the Paris Saint-Germain superstar (1.71) and is only second to Lionel Messi (3.21). Furthermore, he is already making more shot-creating actions per 90 minutes than Mbappe too (5.83 v 3.85) this season so far.
Deulofeu has progressed and developed into a deadly attacking threat since leaving Merseyside half a decade ago and currently ranks in the top 5% of positional peers across the top five European leagues for progressive passes and carries, shot-creating actions and interceptions over the last 12 months.
The 26-year-old ace who was hailed “outstanding” by former Everton manager Roberto Martinez delivered eight goals and 19 assists whilst occupying a spot in the forward line at Goodison Park, with a goal contribution every 129 minutes for the Toffees so they will surely rue seeing him walk through the exit door.
However, it is clear that there is no love lost between Deulofeu and the manager who showed him the exit doors at Everton as the former Blues attacker gave a scathing assessment of Ronald Koeman’s appointment as the manager of his boyhood club Barcelona back in 2020.
Deulofeu told Cataluña Radio (via The Independent):
“I can tell you about Koeman from my personal experience. He provided me absolutely nothing.”
With that being said, having to sell Deulofeu will surely go down as one of Moshiri’s big regrets as retaining the forward’s services could’ve saved a lot of money and points dropped over the years following his departure.