Blues face League One side Stevenage at Goodison
Roberto Martinez is ready to unleash “frustrated” Gerard Deulofeu this evening – and is convinced the Spanish wonderkid can become a real Goodison crowd-pleaser.
Martinez has indicated Deulofeu will play some part when Everton begin the road to Wembley in the Capital One Cup with a second round tie at home to League One side Stevenage.
The 19-year-old forward has generated significant interest since arriving from Barcelona on a season-long loan last month.
But while reiterating the need for patience as the youngster crows accustomed to English football, Martinez is convinced the player can become hugely popular among Evertonians.
“He's been frustrated so far, which I really like,” says the Everton manager.
“For someone so young to feel they want to help the team is something you want to see as a manager.
“He’s exciting. He’s a crowd pleaser with the style and talent that he uses in his play, but he’s got a real end product. I have seen many crowd pleasers but they are not effective for the team.
“And that’s what we need to allow him to grow into, to adapt to the British game. It will take months, it’s not going to happen overnight.
“We need to be patient with Gerard. We will see the best of him in January or February. He’s an exciting winger. He takes people on and can play on both wings. He is the sort of player who can create something out of nothing.
“It is a big change from the way he is playing Barcelona to adapting to the British game.
“But straight away what he’s got is something that we haven’t got in the squad. He will really important for us throughout the season.”
Deulofeu has made six appearances for the Barcelona first team and is regarded as a potential first-team regular by the Catalans having been at the club since the age of nine.
However, he has spent much of the last two years playing for Barcelona B in the Spanish second division, where last season he netted 18 goals in 33 appearances.
And Martinez believes his passing approach made Everton the perfect place for the Camp Nou side to allow the youngster to develop.
“I think it was a great compliment for Everton that he was allowed to come here because he had four, five or even more options,” says Martinez.
“We get a player who can help the team a lot, a player who give us a lot of points. In return you feel part of the development of someone special.
“There was a clear understanding that the player would benefit from coming to the Premier League first and foremost.
“Second, to be able to play in a team that is possession-based it means he can experiment in a similar way from tactical point of view to what is going to happen at Barcelona.”
Deulofeu can expect a lively introduction this evening with lower-league English opposition unlike any other he would have so far faced during his fledgling career.
“There is more contact allowed in the football here and you play in a different way and that will take him a bit of time to get used to,” adds Martinez.
“For a winger it is different when you play in a league which is more open and a little bit more box-to-box.
“But that’s part of the adaptation for Gerard and nothing he can’t achieve. His talent is in other areas; how he can beat players, go past people and create things and that’s what we need to allow him to do.
“For someone of his age to score 18 goals in Spain it shows he is ready to win battles, win fights and doesn’t get intimidated that easily.
“He’s not a young man who has only just come through the ranks. He is someone who is already proven in many aspects of his game.”
Martinez experienced both sides of a cup shock last season, guiding Championship-bound Wigan Athletic to an FA Cup final triumph over Wigan Athletic having earlier in the season been dumped out of the Capital One Cup by eventual finalists Bradford City of League Two.
And while making wholesale changes to his starting line-up this evening to give fringe players an opportunity, the Spaniard has warned against any complacency.
“You develop a very strong competition for places in pre-season then you have players who are a little bit disappointed they haven’t been able to show what they can do, and this competition allows us that chance for that,” says Martinez.
“We have to make sure we use the whole squad, so it’s perfect timing for the players to show what we can do.
“There are always surprises in the League Cup.
"These games more than ever are really competitive and it’s going to be a really good challenge for us.
“Stevenage knocked out Ipswich in the last round and had a good result at the weekend.
“You saw last season that Bradford had a terrific tournament and we will never underestimate any team.”