Everton manager Roberto Martinez lavishes praise on discounted summer starlet Gerard Deulofeu

Roberto Martinez

Despite his very public struggles on loan to Sevilla last season, ex-Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu has thrived after a cut-price move to Everton in the summer.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has lavished praise on summer signing Gerard Deulofeu, who has made an exceptionally strong start to his second stint with the Merseyside club.

The diminutive 21-year-old Spanish winger previously enjoyed a loan spell at Goodison Park two seasons ago, but then endured a torrid spell at Sevilla, after signing for the Europa League winners on loan, from Barcelona.

Marginalised by manager Unai Emery, whose side come up against Manchester City in a pivotal Champions League group match on Tuesday night, Deulofeu struggled to break through into the first team, and was ultimately told he was surplus to requirements when he returned to his Catalan homeclub later in the season.

Allowed to depart for England for a modest fee largely believed to be in the region of £4m, Deulofeu has been something of a revelation for the Toffees this season, and has been involved in in over 30% of the goals the Merseyside club have scored this season.

And, speaking to the official club website, Everton's Martinez was anything but unbecoming in his high praise for the player.

"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 said.

And Martinez was particularly impressed with Deulofeu's burgeoning understanding with leading man Romelu Lukaku. The pair combined intelligently for the fourth goal of the afternoon in Everton's 6-2 rout of Sunderland on Sunday.

“For me, the assist for Romelu Lukaku is as a good as an assist you are going to see in the league, up and down the country,” Martinez added.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch