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Gerard Deulofeu spoke to the press on Thursday morning / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Gerard Deulofeu gave his first press conference on Thursday since becoming a member of the FC Barcelona first team. Speaking after the morning training session, he said that “coming home was always my objective. I learned a lot of things at Everton and now I’m going to have to work hard to achieve this season’s targets.”

I know that Barça has the best footballers but I have high hopes of winning myself a place

The youngster is confident that he can establish himself a place in the first eleven, “because if I wasn’t, then I wouldn’t be here”. And that is despite the huge challenge of fitting into an attack that includes some of the biggest stars in world football. “I know that Barça has the best footballers but I am confident in myself and have high hopes of winning myself a place” he said.

There are doubts as to whether Neymar and Luis Suárez will be able to play in the first games of the season, but Deulofeu doesn’t see that as a reason for complacency. “If I don’t work hard enough, then other players will play instead of me” he said. “Messi, Neymar and Suárez are the three of the best players in the world, but we still have to prove that we have the best forward line in the world … I am looking forward to learning from them”.

Luis Enrique won’t be giving away first team places for free. We’ll all have to work for them

Gerard Deulofeu is back at Barça after a year on loan to Premiership club Everton, where “I learned a lot, but I still think I deserved to play more … But it was a good experience. I have improved in terms of fitness and defending, although my mid-season injury had an impact”.

At Barça, he’ll be working under a familiar coach in Luis Enrique, who was manager of Barça B when he made his second division debut. “He’s a brave coach, he’s got character and knows what he wants”, said Deulofeu. “And he won’t be giving away first team places for free. We’ll all have to work for them”.

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