Nov 3 (Reuters) - Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu is a special talent, manager Roberto Martinez has said, adding that the 21-year-old has returned a more matured player in his second spell.
Barcelona loaned Deulofeu out to rival Spanish club Sevilla last season, where he endured a fractious relationship with manager Unai Emery, who publicly criticised the winger’s attitude.
But Deulofeu has been in impressive form since signing permanently for Everton from Barca in July and has been involved in six of the 19 Premier League goals the Merseysiders have scored this season.
Deulofeu, who has started five of the Toffees last six league matches, netted his first league goal this term in Sunday’s 6-2 win over Sunderland and Martinez said he was excited by the youngster’s potential.
“He is still a young man but to see him performing the way he did, three games in a week, shows you how far he has come and how settled he looks -- and what a special talent we have in our squad,” Martinez told the club’s website (www.evertonfc.com).
Striker Romelu Lukaku echoed his manager’s comments on Deulofeu and said he was grateful to play with the Spaniard.
“Geri has brought what you expect from a winger -- assists and goals,” Lukaku said.
“He needs to keep his form going because he is a great player and it is a blessing to play with him,” the club’s record signing added.
Midfielder Gareth Barry also heaped praise on Deulofeu and said he believed the Barcelona academy graduate could get even better.
“He plays for creating chances probably more than scoring. You forget how young he is because his name has been around for a bit and he’s had a spell here already,” Barry said.
“But like a lot of young players in the dressing room they are still learning and will make mistakes, but ultimately if they keep improving they are going to have a good career,” the former Manchester City player added. (Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru. Editing by Patrick Johnston)