Former Everton forward Steven Naismith says the emergence of Ross Barkley and Gerard Deulofeu forced his Goodison Park exit in 2016.

Naismith, now 33, gave an interview to the Lockdown Tactics Podcast about his time with the Toffees.

He praised David Moyes’ attention to detail, Roberto Martinez’s commitment to attack and Romelu Lukaku’s finishing as well as lifting the lid on the end of his Everton career.

Naismith said: “I was getting frustrated at Everton with Ross Barkley, Deulofeu coming through.

“I felt as if I had to play an eight or nine out of ten to stay in the team, whereas maybe they could drop their performance and stay in. I wasn’t going to just sit here and be on the bench, I wanted to play.

“Norwich offered a good deal which at the end of the day I couldn’t turn down.”

Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Barkley was once the darling of Goodison Park, but then let his contract run right down and left for Chelsea in January 2018, for just £15 million (BBC).

Deulofeu now turns out for Watford and Everton have moved towards a younger frontline under Carlo Ancelotti.

It is interesting to note that he felt he was treated more harshly in terms of the consistency of performances than his younger team-mates.

With 51 Scotland caps to his name, Naismith is now back in the country of his birth, playing for Hearts, who were relegated despite the early conclusion of the Scottish Premiership season.

Alan Rennie/Action Plus via Getty Images

In other news, 'You have to say...': McInnes shares one thing that impressed him about Rangers