Martinez hails ‘world class’ Everton winger Deulofeu

Date published: Thursday 26th November 2015 11:45

Gerard Deulofeu: Everton deny AC Milan loan

Roberto Martinez believes Gerard Deulofeu is “world class” and expects the winger to only get better at Everton.

Deulofeu became a fans’ favourite during his loan spell at Goodison park in 2013/14, and has been in fine form since returning on a permanent basis from Barcelona this summer.

The Spaniard has scored twice and registered five assists in only seven starts since breaking into Martinez’s first XI.

“We all know the incredible world-class talent he has. The judgement of how good he can be needs to be done after 300 games,” Martinez said.

“Now he is showing the determination to be as good as he can be and when you have that attitude you get what he is producing on the pitch.

“He looks free, he looks happy, there is a real chemistry with our fans and a player like that needs that feeling to perform. I’m delighted with Gerard but he’s still a young man in his early Everton career.”

Speaking ahead of the Toffees’ trip to Bournemouth on Saturday, Martinez lauded the current crop of players as “the strongest squad we’ve had for a long time, so let’s see how far we can take it”.

The 42-year-old is also now able to call upon the services of England international Leighton Baines, but suggests the left-back may have to be patient before making a Premier League return.

“Physically Leighton is fine from a medical point of view. Now it’s about giving him the right sort of introduction,” he said.

“More than anything it’s about confidence, about going into 50-50 challenge without being fearful because of the way he got the [second] injury by blocking a ball, not stretching.

“It’s about preparing his body to be physically strong, but it is great to see him back in training. We will make a decision tomorrow.

“It’s about giving him exactly what he needs, not rushing him back and losing him for the rest of the campaign. We can use his freshness and experience for the rest of the season.”

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