“Happy” Deulofeu credits Martinez for his development

, 1 April, 0comments  |  Jump to most recent
Barça forward tips Everton boss for Nou Camp job

Gerard Deulofeu has re-stated how much he is enjoying life at Everton and acknowledged the role played by Roberto Martinez in the improvement of his game after nine months in the English game.

Speaking with IBTimes, the 20 year-old explained that he has learnt and improved a great deal in his first season in the Premier League, particularly when it comes to his physique and the defensive side of his game. "I am in the top division, in the Premier League, one of the best leagues — if not the best — and I am really enjoying it," he said. "I have learnt so many things. Especially that I have lived [the English season] with great intensity, I have enjoyed it. But mostly, I think I have improved my physique. Before, my defence was questioned but I am improving it. I am very happy."

Deulofeu, who was signed by Martinez on loan from Barcelona last July, credits the manager for the way he has introduced him gradually to the demands of England's top division.

"Roberto is the one who has given me the opportunity to play in the first division, he is the coach who has given me the most confidence," he continued.

"The truth is that he has supported me from the beginning. I knew it would be complicated because there are very good players who have spent many years at Everton. Roberto has managed me patiently.

"I accepted the challenge last summer and I am happy with my decision. Now I am more mature as a person and as a footballer.

While there is a possibility that he could return to Goodison on loan for another year next season and he is open to whatever happens in that regard, he insisted that his long-term goal is to play for Barcelona.

"What is meant to be, will be," he reflects. "There is a month left and these things are Barcelona's decision. I am very happy at Everton and I do not know what is going to happen next season. But, I would love to be at Barça."

"[T]he only team I want to play for is Barcelona... because it is the best team in the world. I would like to be in the first team, but also I know it is very complicated as there are very good players. We have to wait."

If he gets that wish, the Spanish U20 star wouldn't rule out playing under his current boss, Martinez, at the Nou Camp. There has been tabloid speculation in recent weeks that the 40 year-old could be in the frame should Tata Martino leave the Catalan giants at the end of this season and Deulofeu believes he has the ability to manage them.

"That would be great, really, but I think it is complicated," he continued. "Tata Martino still has one year left on his contract, so we will see.

"Anyway, I believe Roberto would be up to being Barcelona's coach as he has shown that in the teams he has been at, he has done well."

Deulofeu has rediscovered much of the form that was turning Premier League heads in December before he was sidelined for 6 weeks with a hamstring tear and he will likely be an integral part of the run-in as Everton chase a place in the Champions League for next season.


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