Everton vs Liverpool: Barcelona's gifted Gerard Deulofeu can make the difference in the derby

A Different League: Barca have no doubts they have the next big thing in the talented winger

Every time Everton leave Gerard Deulofeu on the bench, his contract decrees that the money they have to pay Barcelona for his season-long loan rises. Saturday's derby against Liverpool might be the day Roberto Martinez decides to save the club some cash and give the 19-year-old winger his first league start.

Deulofeu was involved in five of Spain Under-21s' six goals on Friday against Bosnia and scored again on Monday in Albania. Those underwhelmed by his arrival at Goodison Park will point out the world of difference between under-21 football and a Merseyside derby but, after two goalless draws for Everton, Martinez is considering his options.

Character will not come into it. This is a player who was once disciplined at Barcelona because he told rival youth players as he left the field after being substituted: "Pass by the dressing room afterwards and I'll give you an autograph." Deulofeu had given them the runaround and they had tried to give him a kicking. He called his opponents afterwards to say sorry.

He is not at Everton to overcome big-game nerves. Deulofeu signed for Barcelona aged nine, had his first Nike contract aged 12 and made his Nou Camp debut at 17. But it will be a test of how much he has learnt under Martinez. He is at Everton to improve the defensive side of his game, his positioning without the ball and his decision-making. There is a place waiting for him at Barcelona, if not next season then the season after on the right of a front three that will include Neymar and the man who picks up the Golden Boot award in Barcelona today, Lionel Messi. Not for nothing did Barça give Deulofeu a new five-year contract last May with a €35m (£29m) buy-out clause.

The player has made the right noises: "There are a lot of very experienced players and Roberto Martinez is introducing me gradually," he says. "I know that I'm not Leo Messi." His former youth-team coach Oscar Garcia used to make him watch videos of Messi so he could copy his defensive movements when he didn't have the ball.

Deulofeu is a lot more like Cristiano Ronaldo than Messi. Not the current, complete version but the work-in-progress teenager who first turned up at Old Trafford a decade ago – the same explosive pace from a standing start, the same quick feet and powerful shot. His goal against Albania was a perfect example, racing down the right before rifling a shot into the roof of the net. In the previous fixture against Bosnia the full-back marking him, Dino Bevab, was taken off at half-time, virtually in knots.

Barcelona have no doubts they have the next big thing. Martinez believes if he gets it right with Deulofeu he could end up being one of the sensations of the second half of the season. The question is, does he try to make the second half of the season come early at Goodison on Saturday?

Was Germany's 'Miracle of Berne' cooked up in a lab?

Brylcreem? Check. Dubbin? Check. Liniment? Check. Amphetamines? Check. Reading Sid Lowe's Fear and Loathing in La Liga this week just as the Mighty Magyars mark the 60th anniversary of their 6-3 demolition of England at Wembley, one of the book's many remarkable stories comes to mind.

A year after trouncing England, that extraordinary Hungary side lost the 1954 World Cup final in Berne to West Germany in strange circumstances. Lowe spoke to the son of Zoltan Czibor, who played for Barcelona and for Hungary in the final.

"My dad told me that at half-time and with Hungary winning 2-0 the Germans took this drink that they used to give to the pilots who flew Stukas in the war so that they wouldn't feel fear," he said. "Hungary had beaten Germany 8-3 in the group. But the Germans came out for the second half flying. Some of them didn't know their own names."

Earlier this year, findings by Berlin's Humboldt University for Germany's Federal Institute of Sport Science supported the idea that the 1954 World Cup-winning team used the methamphetamine Pervitin.

The Germans are not alone in terms of the trickle of revelations questioning football's so-called age of innocence. In August, 1970s Dutch international Johnny Rep revealed that taking an amphetamine pill before a game was not unusual. And a new book published in the Netherlands – Guido Derksen's Voetbal Mysteries – also suggests the practice was commonplace.

The idea of doping in football prior to it being flooded with money is fascinating. And with every revelation, there is one question that remains: what were England up to while all this was taking place?

News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits