9 August 2014 21:59
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has demanded more from Gerard Deulofeu following the youngster’s underwhelming start to pre-season.
Deulofeu enjoyed an impressive loan spell in the Premier League with Everton last season and, following the departure of Alexis Sanchez, is expected to take on an important role in the Barca squad this term.
However, the 20-year-old has been limited to fleeting appearances from the bench during the pre-season and his coach wants him, along the rest of his squad, to work hard to earn their places in the team.
When asked about Deulofeu’s limited playing time, Luis Enrique said: “I want players to earn their opportunity to play. I invite everyone to crave the chance to play for the club.
“I want there to be a fierce competitiveness for places in my team – this is the foundation for everything.
“My players already know that everything depends on how they train and play and later I will decide who gets what minutes.”
One area of his team that Luis Enrique is satisfied with is in goal, with the former Celta Vigo boss declaring himself thrilled with Marc Andre ter Stegen, Claudio Bravo and Jordi Masip.
“I am delighted with all of them,” he added. “The problem would be to have three bad goalkeepers and having to choose one to play.
“I wish I had this problem (great depth) in all the positions.
“As of today, all three have a 33 per cent chance of being a starter in the first game of the season [against Elche on August 24].”