Gerard Deulofeu has had loads of strikes in his profession. He went from Barcelona to Everton, then Sevilla, Milan and again once more, however it’s arguably at his present membership, Watford, the place he has made the most important change of all.
The 25-year-old had spent the whole lot of his profession as a winger – impressing together with his velocity up and down the flanks – however final season, he performed as a striker.
It was a shrewd change too, with Deulofeu producing his finest purpose return since enjoying for Barcelona B within the 2012/13 season – 12 targets in all competitions, plus 5 assists – and the Spaniard says he has all the time had his eye on a central function.
He informed Sky Sports activities: “We spoke with the supervisor [Javi Gracia] at first of the season and he mentioned to me that I was going to play as a striker. Years earlier than, I had been considering that I needed to play as a striker since you are nearer to the purpose and you’ve got extra possibilities to attain.
“Final season was actually good for us, we are able to enhance, in fact and I may also enhance my statistics. However I’m glad and I need to proceed in that place.
“I needed to adapt myself to Watford’s type as a result of there may be loads of lengthy balls, direct and second balls. I needed to adapt myself in that staff and that kind of soccer. Within the final 4 or 5 months, I loved enjoying with Troy [Deeney] and with individuals who go to the problem and after, I can take some possibilities.
“We spoke with the supervisor [Javi Gracia] at first of the season and he mentioned to me that I was going to play as a striker. Years earlier than, I had been considering that I needed to play as a striker since you are nearer to the purpose and you’ve got extra possibilities to attain.”
Gerard Deulofeu on his change to a striker
“The Premier League is totally different to different locations that I’ve performed in. I’ve been at locations like Everton, Barcelona, Milan and the system, the play and the form is totally different. Right here at Watford, it’s fully totally different. Wherever you go, it’s a must to put your self within the staff and assist your team-mates to realize one thing particular.
“As a club, we want to do like last season, but much better. We have to improve because we can go in the top ten and compete in every game with your best. We have a lot of good players, a lot of quality but right now in football, you need more than that.”
One among Deulofeu’s stand-out performances final season was within the FA Cup semi-finals towards Wolves. He scored twice as Watford got here from 2-Zero right down to win the sport 3-2, sending them to solely their second FA Cup ultimate.
Talking concerning the sport, he mentioned: “It was an ideal afternoon for us and personally, for me. In the course of the sport, it was powerful as a result of we have been 2-Zero down and Wolves are an ideal staff, however I went onto the pitch and gave my finest to take it to additional time. Then in extra-time, we may kill the sport.
“For Watford as a membership and the city, it was historic going to the ultimate. We could not win the ultimate, however we performed two video games at Wembley and for Watford, that is wonderful. After that sport, you are feeling like you’re the king however it’s a must to be calm and benefit from the second however you possibly can all the time enhance some issues.”
‘Barcelona is my previous’
Deulofeu joined Barcelona’s academy when he was 9 years outdated, making his means by means of the ranks and notched up 23 first-team appearances throughout two spells.
There was some to-ing and fro-ing between the Nou Camp and different locations, however Deulofeu says that he’s solely targeting his future and never his previous with the membership.
“Each participant feels the stress at Barcelona,” he said. “Golf equipment like Barcelona and Actual Madrid, they’re high groups as a result of they’ve loads of stress however that stress makes you the very best participant.
“I might not have had a number of success at Barcelona however the profession is continuous. You’ll be able to’t keep in your previous, it’s a must to be in your current and considering of your future. Barcelona is the previous. There are loads of good moments and recollections however it’s performed.
“I’ve learnt quite a bit from each dressing room I’ve been in. In Barcelona, I performed with the very best gamers so you possibly can be taught from them in each coaching.
“The massive gamers do not feel the stress in relation to the massive video games and the powerful interval between March and June. You’ll be able to be taught quite a bit when you have got been in sides with these gamers.
“You need to be prepared when the massive moments come. Lionel Messi is the man that, when there’s a large second or you have got a giant probability to attain or play a cross, he all the time comes good. 100 per cent, he’ll make the precise determination.”
Returning to Goodison Park
An 18-year-old Deulofeu burst onto the Premier League scene at Everton, first shifting on mortgage within the 2013/14 season earlier than becoming a member of completely in July 2015. Nonetheless, 18 months later, he was loaned to AC Milan earlier than rejoining Barcelona.
However Deulofeu enjoys going again to Goodison Park – which he’ll do on Saturday as Watford journey to Everton within the Premier League – and nonetheless maintains a superb relationship with the followers.
He mentioned: “It was not too powerful [moving to Everton at 18] as a result of I had performed for Barcelona since I was 9 years outdated so I had been to loads of international locations and performed loads of travelling. I tailored myself in Liverpool, which isn’t simple, however I felt actually snug there.
“My first season on mortgage at Everton, I was actually younger and I performed some video games. I’m actually glad about this season as a result of that was my first season within the first staff. However after, it wasn’t common, I did not play loads of video games. In soccer, you want loads of issues and possibly in that interval, I was not in my finest second and I needed to be taught extra from my team-mates.
“I had good moments at Everton and it’s in my coronary heart so which means that after that mortgage season, I went again to Everton as a result of I felt actually good there.
“I have a good relationship and a good connection with Everton fans. They love me and I love them. Every time I go to Goodison, the people are really happy and I’m proud about this.”
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