Deulofeu targets Euro qualification

Everton’s Gerard Deulofeu is only thinking about European Championship qualification for Spain’s Under 21s, despite being close to taking the appearance record.

The 22-year-old is set to overtake Athletic Bilbao playmaker Iker Munain’s record of 31 appearances for La Rojita, and is also only a goal away from moving ahead of Valencia’s Rodrigo on goals for the side (15).

The two upcoming matches are of particular importance – a two-legged playoff clash with Austria to advance to next summer’s European Championships.

“I'm very happy to have got this far with the Under-21s. I've spent a while chatting to Iker, telling him that I am going to take his record – we're great friends,” Deulofeu told AS.

“I do think about the senior side but being with the lads in the Under-21s makes me feel good. The important thing now is that we take both of these games forward and make sure we qualify for the Euros.

“Statistically, my time with the Under-21s has been very productive but what I really want is for the team to classify for Euro 2017 Poland and go on to win it. I've been lucky enough to have had some great team mates and I've made some special friendships – and that's very important too.

“We get along well and have a great time and I think that's reflected in our football on the pitch. Now we have to do our job in the Play-Offs against Austria.

“You always think about playing for the senior side and hoping that phone call will come. That's what we are all working for.”

Tags 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship everton Gerard Deulofeu La Rojita Spain