Gareth Barry has given his opinion on just what Gerard Deulofeu brings to the mixing pot after the young Spaniard announced himself to the Premier League with his performance against Stoke City on Saturday.
The Barcelona loanee had offered glimpses of his promise in a number of cameo appearances ahead of the clash with the Potters, but marked his first league start with the opening goal in a 4-0 rout.
But it’s his ability to beat a man that has caught the eye of Barry – himself no stranger to what’s required to be a leading player having lined up alongside some of the finest talents the English top-flight has seen.
“He’s so difficult to mark one-on-one,” he said. “He loves getting at players and he’s got a lot of pace and confidence.
“He really made it difficult for the full-back. You can give him a yard but he’s got the pace to make that up and the more he gets his chances to play, the more he’ll improve even more.
“You can see why he’s thought of so highly. Anyone who has come through the Barcelona academy is going to have real quality and we’ve seen it all season in training. Now the fans are starting to see it too.
“I’m sure there’s more to come.”
Barry also praised the 19-year-old for his maturity in dealing with the change in culture following his move to England and the step up in class from Barcelona’s ‘B’ side.
“He’s had to be patient and wait for his chance because there’s a lot of other players doing really well too,” added the on-loan midfielder.
“He’s still young and this is a big change coming here. There’s still a lot for him to learn against different opposition in different types of games, but he’s coming along fast.
“Any player coming in from abroad needs help settling in. Thankfully, we have a few Spanish speakers here and there’s a great team spirit too.”