Valverde: Deulofeu trying too hard

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde admits Gerard Deulofeu is trying too hard after the winger was criticised for his performance against Real Murcia.

A section of Barca fans on social media made their frustrations known with Deulofeu, who failed to score or assist a teammate in Tuesday’s 5-0 victory over Murcia in the Copa del Rey, and Valverde urged the former Milan loanee to let his football take its course ‘naturally’.

“We tried to play with rhythm, good football and dynamism, and we leave here with a good taste in our mouths,” the Coach said after the game.

“We leave with a good feeling. I had it in the first leg and we showed a lot of attitude tonight.

“We applied rhythm from the start, and we tried so our opponents didn’t get a sniff and that we dominated the game.

“Oriol Busquets and Costas? They did very well. In the case of David, I planned to play him, especially because Pique wanted me to play him for 50 minutes.

“In the case of Oriol… He’s a player that I think can help us. He’s still very young, but I think he did very well.

“I took him off because I didn’t want to have four B players on the pitch, just in case. Alena also did very well and Arnaiz scored again, so I’m very happy.

“These games are generally devoid of any atmosphere and the fans don’t attend, but what the club did… they created a festive atmosphere.

“When people come, those that don’t have the opportunity of going to every game, and give colour to the stadium… We felt good with them next to us.

“Deulofeu? He tried from the first moment. It’s true that towards the end, he got anxious because he wanted to score a goal or put a piece of play together.

“Sometimes when you insist on doing something, it gets more complicated. You have to let everything flow naturally.

“However, other than that, such insistence has its positives. It doesn’t worry me. He’s fine and he doesn’t have any physical problems.

“Copa opponents in the last 16? I won’t say anything… We can play anyone and we’ll accept whichever team fate gives us.”

Tags Ernesto Valverde Gerard Deulofeu Real Murcia