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Reported Everton target Ronald Araujo enhanced his growing reputation with an ‘excellent’ second half in Saturday’s La Liga stalemate between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, Barca boss Ronald Koeman told Blaugranes

While the present doesn’t look quite so good for the Kings of Catalonia – failure to beat Diego Simeone’s side means they are third in the table with three games to go – the future appears brighter than Jurgen Klopp’s freshly-polished gnashers. 

In Ansu Fati, Ilaix Moriba, Pedri and co, some of the most exciting young talents in European football right now are honing their fearsome talent in red and blue. 

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While 22-year-old Araujo hasn’t hogged the headlines like some of his fresh-faced teammates, the Uruguay international deserves huge credit for the way he has adapted to such high-pressure circumstances after being airlifted out of the B team. 

Araujo came off the bench at half-time against Atletico and produced a rock-solid 45-minute performance last weekend, restricting the previously-influential Yannick Carrasco to spectator status during a hard-fought 0-0 draw.

Mundo Deportivo reports that Everton are big fans of the La Masia graduate, but expect Koeman to fight tooth and nail to stop Araujo leaving the Camp Nou for his old employers at Goodison Park. 

“Ronald was injured for a while. It was a bit hard for him to get back to his best physical shape but he is 100 per cent committed and he played an excellent second half against Atletico,” said the former Toffees boss.  

Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

“He needed a bit more time after his injury which is normal and I think he’s having an excellent season.” 

MD adds that Everton, who snapped up Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes and Lucas Digne in 2018, would have to make a stunning offer if they are to raid the Camp Nou again. 

And Barcelona supporters have wasted no time in making their feelings clear; Araujo should be going absolutely nowhere.

Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

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