Former Barcelona star Gerard Deulofeu has made it clear he’s not too impressed with the Catalan giants appointing Ronald Koeman as their new manager.
Deulofeu is a product of the club’s famed La Masia academy and played under Koeman in the Premier League at Everton. The winger spoke to Onda Cero radio about his experience under the Dutchman.
“I wasn’t happy in the team or with him. It was a sporting issue. The coach didn’t want me while the president did. I wasn’t going to have any minutes with him so luckily, I was able to leave.
“I went to the club president and to Koeman and told them that I wanted to leave because if I didn’t play, I wasn’t going to be happy. Luckily, I went to AC Milan. It’s obviously very different, Everton from Barcelona, it’s a different world, different players.
“He is a coach that has character in the locker room. But from what I can say, at Everton it didn’t work out and you didn’t see good football. We shall see what happens at Barca.”
Koeman has been installed at Barcelona on a two-year deal. The coach has admitted during his unveiling he is aware the forthcoming presidential elections, which will take place from March 2021, could affect his position at the club.
“The only thing I can do is get good results. I have a two-year contract, I know elections are coming, but we’ll see. There’s nothing I can do to ensure my safety as a coach. I know there could be a new president, all I can do is do things well, hope people enjoy it and win matches.”
Presidential candidate Victor Font has made it clear that he wants former midfielder Xavi as manager if he wins the election.
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Deulofeu Criticizes Barcelona’s Youth Policy
Deulofeu was also critical of Barcelona’s youth policy, insisting the club have not done enough to give their starlets a chance at the Camp Nou.
Players such as Deulofeu, Eric Garcia, Alex Grimaldo, and Adama Traore have all left the club in recent years after struggling for game time.
“I think Barca are years late when it comes to giving the young players a chance, having the patience to allow them to grow in the team. People like me who have been there know that this should have been done years ago.”
Barcelona currently have a crop of promising young players who will be hoping to make an impact under Koeman. Riqui Puig, Ansu Fati, and Ronaldo Araujo are expected to be promoted to the first-team squad for next season and could be joined by new signings Francisco Trincao and Pedri.