Everton eye exciting summer swoop for Barca starlet Sergi Roberto
Everton, 7/2 with Coral for a top 10 finish, could once again call on coach Roberto Martinez’s Catalan connections to land promising Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto.
The talented 23-year-old was once tipped to be Barca’s next great academy graduate, but Roberto has struggled to make the step up needed to become a first team regular.
Roberto’s play would certainly suit the style his compatriot Martinez has implemented at Goodison Park and, as a La Masia-trained youngster, he is adept at keeping possession and, of course, capable of pinpoint passing.
With a perhaps more direct style than some of his clubmates, Roberto’s quick feet and speed of thought could see him develop into an ideal Premier League midfielder.
However, the Toffees and Martinez will have to pull out all the stops to entice the highly-rated star to Merseyside, after a sub-par season has left the team with a slim chance of European football next campaign.
Roberto has reportedly been told he can depart the Nou Camp club this summer, despite having a contract that runs until 2019. The well-rounded midfielder was supposedly previously subject to interest from the Toffees in January, while an offer from Stoke City was also apparently rebuffed.
The former Spain under-21 schemer has made just 12 appearances for Barca across all competitions this season and, despite the club’s current transfer embargo, the writing appears to be on the wall for Roberto’s Nou Camp career.
Despite dominating at youth level, things never quite clicked into place with the first team squad. However, Roberto should not be disheartened, and instead follow in the footsteps of ex-Barca boys Cesc Fabregas and Bojan Krkic, who have found their style suits the Premier League.
At 23 years old, Roberto needs regular game time at a club willing to wait for him to blossom, and Everton could offer just that.
After joining La Masia aged just 14 and spending his entire career with Barca, Roberto would certainly need time to adapt, making Balaguer-born boss Martinez the perfect mentor.
The crafty coach has already experienced success with one of the Nou Camp’s finest youngsters, as Gerard Deulofeu dazzled on loan with the Toffees last term, providing four goals and five assists.
It is end product that ambitious Roberto needs to work on, and the youngster still has plenty of potential to develop an eye for goal under Martinez’s guidance.
Everton are currently 10/1 to lift the Europa League but could certainly use an injection of quality over the summer, with Roberto representing a bargain buy if he can be persuaded to swap Las Ramblas for the River Mersey.