Martinez backs Deulofeu captaincy

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes Gerard Deulofeu’s role as Spain Under-21 captain has come at the right time for the winger.

Deulofeu scored five goals in two games over the international period, a hat-trick as La Rojita routed their counterparts from Georgia and a brace in the narrow win over Croatia.

“The captaincy has arrived at the right time,” Martinez told the Liverpool Echo.

“There are moments when you are captain or need to lead a team, you need to be open to it and show that you can care about others.

“Gerard is a young man and has been through a lot, especially last season, and he is very aware of others.

“Away from the Spain camp, we have seen that here at Everton, a young man with incredible talent who has always been committed to being the best he can be.

“But he also works to be essential to the team and he works as hard as he can to give what the team requires.

“He is really enjoying being on the football pitch and here he is developing relationships around him with Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and Seamus Coleman. He loves being on the football pitch.

“Being captain of that young generation is a big role in his country but he has done it in fantastic fashion.

“What is even more remarkable is that there has not been a drop in his standards.”

Martinez added that Deulofeu is used to the pressure the armband can bring as, having been touted as a Barca wonder kid from a young age, he’s accustomed to the attention.

“Gerard was born with debate around him,” Martinez continued.

“When you make your debut against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu at the age of 16 and with his talent, he is going to bring that debate from the whole footballing country.

“But he is used to it. It doesn’t bother him.”

Tags everton Gerard Deulofeu La Rojita Roberto Martinez Spain Spain Under-21