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Martinez excited by Deulofeu

Roberto Martinez is ready to throw on-loan Barcelona forward Gerard Deulofeu into the fray after admitting the youngster has exceeded his expectations.

Last Updated: 28/11/13 at 15:57 Post Comment

Gerard Deulofeu: Closing in on a first start in the Premier League

Gerard Deulofeu: Closing in on a first start in the Premier League

The Catalan prodigy has made 10 appearances this season but his only two starts have been in the Capital One Cup.

However, Martinez could give him his chance in the Premier League before Christmas, saying: "His progress has been quicker than I expected.

"His talent is there for everyone to see; he is an exciting footballer and when you see him on the ball you know something is going to happen.

"It was always going to be the case adapting to the British style and physicality of the league would take a few months but I never expected him to be ready to play in the league until January or February.

"It was a shame we were knocked out of the Capital One Cup because I thought that was a perfect introduction for him into the British game.

"It is safe to say Gerard has exceeded my expectations in terms of how quickly he has adapted and has become someone very important to the side.

"He has already played big chunks of games and has had a big impact. He has surprised us all and he has started to get frustrated to not start a game and that is fantastic."

Deulofeu had his first taste of a Merseyside derby last weekend when he came on for Leighton Baines five minutes after half-time.

"We always want to win, and that will never change," added Martinez. "The most important aspect is that the players are not shocked by it.

"They know how to adapt, how to be well-balanced and that mentality of scoring goals and controlling games will always be successful over 10 months of games.

"The team is ready to make those sort of changes. They are brave changes but they are controlled changes."

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