Barcelona youngster Gerard Deulofeu has spoken favourably of his time spent at Everton last season but believes that he deserved to see more minutes under Roberto Martinez.
Deulofeu appeared in 29 games during his season-long loan spell, starting 11 and scoring four goals, while showing glimpses of his undoubted potential to help the club to a fifth-place Premier League finish.
Now back at Barca for the 2014-15 campaign, the 20-year-old says that he feels better prepared to break into the first-team at the Nou Camp, but admits that he would have liked to have been given more opportunities in England.
‘Until you go somewhere else you don’t know what you’ve got', he told the Liverpool Echo. ‘I’m glad I spent a year at Everton. I learned a lot of things. It was a good experience for me, and I have improved in terms of fitness, the physical side and defending.
‘I really enjoyed it at Everton, but I am left with the feeling of having played too few minutes. I still think I deserved to play more, although my mid-season injury had an impact.’
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Looking at the stats, there are some grounds to suggest that Martinez was right to take a cautious approach with Deulofeu last season, despite his clear promise, with the winger far from the complete package at this stage in his career.
Nevertheless, having earned a call-up to Spain’s pre-World Cup camp and received his first cap this summer, the former Barca B star will be hoping that his time in England will have caught the attention of new club boss Luis Enrique, who continues to remodel the squad in preparation for the upcoming campaign.