As much as he is enjoying his time in England with Everton, Gerard Deulofeu plans to fight for a first team place at Barcelona next season.
It was considered to be something a coup when Roberto Martinez lured the 19-year-old to Goodison Park in the summer, in a loan deal for the duration of the existing campaign. During his time on Merseyside the teenager has shown just why he is so highly-rated in Catalonia, where he remains under contract until 2017.
Due to the competition for places at the Camp Nou it has been suggested that Deulofeu could be loaned out again next season, when the Toffees would no doubt be at the very front of the queue. However, the young forward has revealed that his first option is to return to his parent club and fight for a place in the first team picture.
“I am working every day to get back to Barcelona next season,” he told Catalunya Radio. “My dream is to find a place in the Barcelona attacking line-up and to do that I am progressing in the Premier League. I accepted the challenge last summer and I am happy with my decision. Now I am more mature as a person and as a footballer. Perhaps people at Barcelona do not have confidence in me, but that is normal. I am a young player.”
Deulofeu, who has scored twice in 15 league appearances this season, is one of four loan players at Everton. Lacina Traore, the latest of these additions, has endured a difficult time since arriving from Monaco in January, and has picked up a hamstring injury which would rule him out for eight weeks. Romelu Lukaku, the Belgium international, has been outstanding with 10 goals and four assists in the Premier League, but he is likely to return to Chelsea when Jose Mourinho’s assesses his options ahead of next term.
There could be better news with Gareth Barry, though. The 33-year-old has also impressed whilst on loan from Manchester City, but he has no future at the Etihad Stadium with his contract set to expire in the summer. Martinez has already stated his intention to sit down with the midfielder at the end of the season, when he is sure to offer the England international player a permanent move to Goodison Park.