Ronald Koeman explains why he played Gerard Deulofeu as a lone striker in Everton friendly win

Everton's Gerard Deulofeu in action

Deulofeu impressed up front for the Toffees in the 3-0 win over Barnsley on Saturday.

Gerard Deulofeu scores the second goal for Everton

Everton manager Rinald Koeman has suggested to the club's official website that he may play winger Gerard Deulofeu as a lone striker again after the Spaniard impressed in the friendly win over Barnsley.

Deulofeu was deployed in an unfamiliar striker role in the match on Saturday but looked more than capable of playing in the position as he scored the second goal in a 3-0 victory.

The 22-year-old has been utilised almost exclusively as a wide midfielder under Koeman's predecessor Roberto Martinez, but the Dutch boss believes he has potentially found a new position for the former Barcelona man.

Everton's Gerard Deulofeu in action

Koeman explained that he knew Deulofeu had the potential to play as a striker after he played in the position as a youngster for Barca's B team, and highlighted why having the player in attack is an advantage for the Toffees.

Koeman told the Everton website: "We had a lot of pace up front with Gerard. Maybe this is a new position for him but I know he played there for Barcelona ‘B’. Because he is very fast, we created a lot of danger from that.

"A full-back has two options – play the ball back to the goalkeeper or play it down the channels [to the forwards]. I don’t like the first option.

New manager Ronald Koeman during the press conference

"When you have Gerard with that speed up front, and good passes to pick him out, that makes it difficult for the opponent."

It will be interesting to see if Koeman sees Deulofeu as a striker going forward into the season, but it certainly looks as though the former Spain youth international stands to play a bigger role under the new manager.

He fell out of favour under Martinez in the latter months of last season but undoubtedly has the technical ability to thrive under Koeman, whatever the position he is picked to play.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez with Gerard Deulofeu as he is substituted

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