Everton boss Martinez hails Deulofeu

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has heaped praise on youngster Gerard Deulofeu after his all-action performance in the 4-0 win over Stoke City on Saturday, BBC Sport has reported.

The Spaniard, 19, who is on loan from Barcelona, capped his first Premier League start with the opening goal as Everton collected three points which lifted them to fourth in the table. He had previously made eight substitute appearances in the league, as well as two starts in the Capital One Cup, in which he scored his only other goal for the Toffees against Stevenage in August.

And after the victory over Mark Hughes’ side, Martinez said: “He is one of the most talented footballers in Spanish football. You can see why we worked so hard to attract him to the club. “He is quite a unique talent. The moment he made his Barcelona debut against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu aged 16 is when he caught my attention.

“There was a long list trying to take Gerard on loan and the fact he wanted to come to Everton was a fantastic feeling. We always knew it would take a little bit of time for him to get used to the physicality of the British league. He showed in the last two performances he is getting ready, that he wants to help the team, and I was very pleased in the manner that he did that.”

Martinez also had praise for Bryan Oviedo, who scored on only his second Premier League start, deputising for the injured Leighton Baines. The ex-Wigan Athletic boss added: “Bryan had to bide his time and work in a professional manner to take his opportunity and that was probably the most satisfying individual performance that we had. To have player that had to wait so long to play and do it in that manner shows the strength of the squad.”

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