On-loan Everton starlet Gerard Deulofeu has granted an exclusive interview to IBTimes UK, talking about his time on Merseyside, his manager Roberto Martinez and his plans for the future.
How was your adjustment period at Everton?
I was told it would be very complicated, but I think I have adapted well. My team-mates have also accepted me very well. Now is the best time, and I want to finish this season well.
Have you learned the differences between La Liga and the Premier League?
Yes, there are differences. The Premier is much more physical and you have to run more. I think I have adapted well and I believe I am able to play in the Premier.
Roberto Martinez has treated your adaptation very cautiously. What does he mean to you? How is he as a coach?
The truth is that he has supported me from the beginning. I think he has handled it very well, the gradual approach has worked.
When I came here I also knew it would be complicated because there are very good players who have spent many years at Everton. Roberto has managed me patiently.
From Barcelona, it is hard to understand the manager's cuation because whenever you play, something happens...
Whenever I go on the pitch I try to do my best and things have been going well. To be honest, I wish I had more minutes than I have had. But I think Roberto has managed it well.
In any case, Robert is keeping his word. He said that from January, we would begin to see you as a starter, and it has played out like that. It he the coach who has put the most trust in you so far?
Until now, yes. My previous coaches were in lower categories and that is not the same as being in the first division. Roberto is the one who has given me the opportunity to play in the first division. So, thus far, he is the coach who has given me most confidence [in my career].
However, you decided to leave Barcelona because you were not content with having so few minutes in the first team and, at Everton, at first it was a bit more of the same. How did you cope with that?
I left Barcelona because I believed it was very difficult to have minutes in the first team as there are very good players. And I took the decision to come to Everton to get more minutes. And so far, I am very happy.
Which style suits you more: Barcelona's or Everton's?
I think I can adapt to both. I have spent many years at Barça and I know their game. And at Everton you can see – I have adapted well and I think both styles fit me.
Where would you want to be next season? Would you rather return to Barcelona or stay at Everton?
I would really like to be at Barça because it is the best team in the world. I would like to be in the first team, but also I know it is very complicated as there are very good players. We have to wait.
However, going back to Barcelona next season does not guarantee regular football due to the team's attacking potential, with Messi, Neymar, Alexis, Pedro and Tello. Would you be willing to go through a situation like that?
What is meant to be, will be. There is a month left and these things are Barcelona's decision. I am very happy at Everton and I do not know what is going to happen next season. But, I would love to be at Barça.
You were six weeks out through injury and you spent a few days in Spain to recover. During the time you were there, did Barcelona contact you to carry out some kind of negotiation?
No, no. I was recovering in Barcelona, I spent quite some time unfortunately. And no, I was treated very well, very grateful for the time I was there. But no, what is meant to be, the club let me know in the summer.
Roberto Martinez sounds like a candidate for the Barcelona job if Tata Martino finally decides to leave. Do you imagine returning to Barça and having him as a coach?
That would be great, really! But I think it is complicated. Tata Martino has one year more on his contract still. So we will see.
Do you think Roberto would be a good coach for Barcelona? Do you think he would be up to it?
I believe Roberto would be up to being Barcelona's coach as all the teams he has managed have done well.
And how do you see Barça lately?
They won El Clásico which was very important because if they did not win it, I think their chances would have been finished. So they are doing well. Let's see what happens. There are three teams and seven games left, so they will have to gamble [in La Liga].
Ahead of the next season, do you think Barça need to rebuild with a young side?
There are not too many coaches who trust in young guys. Also they gamble a lot as there is a lot of pressure and it is very complicated. Anyway, that also depends on the coach.
Where have you felt more valued: at Everton or at Barcelona?
In Barcelona I have not finished being in the first team. My ten years in the Barça B I have been very pleased and they have treated me very well. And here at Everton [it has been the same]. I am very lucky as people want me a lot. At both clubs they have treated me very well.
How do you see the Premier League in this final stage?
I see it as very very interesting because there are three or four teams that are fighting for the league. Now Arsenal have dropped off a bit, but it is really exciting. Let's see if we can get into Europe.
Will you achieve it?
Yes, of course. We are fighting for it and we have a lot of confidence.
Do you think La Liga is inherently superior to the Premier League?
This year [La Liga] is also very interesting because there are three teams in the title race. But normally it is only Barcelona or Madrid fighting for it and, in previous years, Barcelona has almost always dominated. So I think the Premier is lived more, is more passionate.
What do you think about the complicated situation that is going on at Manchester United this season?
It is a bad situation. They are not getting the goals they had set. They have to play their final games as finals try to get into Europe or whatever...
What do your teammates say about David Moyes?
To be honest, I have never talked to them about David Moyes.
How good is Ross Barkley?
First of all, I am very happy to play alongside him. And, you see, he is a great player who is very young, like me, and he has a lot ahead. If he carries on working, he is going to achieve his goals certainly.
Apart from Everton, in which Premier League's biggest clubs would you like to play in the future?
I am happy at Everton but the only team I want to play for is Barcelona.
What is the best moment of your career so far?
I am loving it right now. I am in the top division, in the Premier League, one of the best leagues - if not the best - and I am really enjoying it.
What valuation do you place on all this experience in the Premier League?
I have learnt so many things. Especially that I have lived [the English season] with great intensity, I have enjoyed it. But mostly, I think I have improved my physique. Before, my defence was questioned but I am improving it. I am very happy.
Which Spanish youth player do you think would fit in the Premier?
There are many very good ones. Like for example, my [national] team-mates Oliver Torres, Jesé Rodríguez... There are too many.
Speaking about Jesé, before the injury, he had got a place as starter in Carlo Ancelotti's line-up. Do you think that spending €100m for a player like Gareth Bale was necessary?
This is a complicated issue which is the club, in this case Real Madrid, who have to decide. I think Jesé is doing it very well. Now he has had bad luck or the misfortune of injury so he has to work hard, get well soon and next season we will see what happens.
Who are your favourites to win the Champions League?
My favourite to win the both trophies [Champions League and La Liga] are Barça, of course!
And the Premier?
Hopefully Everton, but it is very complicated – I have no favourite actually.
Can you imagine yourself winning the Ballon d'Or someday?
Yes, of course! I do see myself as being capable of doing it. But it is very complicated and I have to work very hard every day.