Former Everton star Gerard Deulofeu has given a scathing assessment of new Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman – saying the Dutchman gave him ‘absolutely nothing’ during his time at Goodison Park.
The winger joined the Toffees from the Catalan outfit in 2015 after enjoying a loan spell, but claims he endured a poor relationship with Koeman after he took charge of the club the following year.
Koeman has replaced Quique Setien at the Nou Camp amid a crisis at the Spanish giants but does not appear to be optimistic that the new man in charge will bring success to the Spanish giants.
‘I can tell you about Koeman from my personal experience, and I have very little to tell you about Koeman,’ he said on Cataluna Radio, as reported by Marca.
‘He provided me absolutely nothing. I wasn’t happy, I asked to leave and I went to Milan.
‘We’ll see how he does at the Camp Nou.’
Deulofeu played 33 games in his first full season with Everton under Roberto Martinez, but featured just 13 times in all competitions after Koeman was appointed.
The 26-year-old, now at Watford, came through Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy.
Even though the club are going through a crisis, with fans protesting against the club’s board and a host of stars set to leave, Deulofeu insisted he had little sympathy for his boyhood side.
He added that the quality of La Masia has declined in recent years, saying youngsters were not being given ‘patience’ anymore and believes the club are ‘years behind’.
‘The truth is that Barcelona’s [situation] does not bother me,’ he added. ‘In fact, right now, I don’t care.’
‘At Barcelona, they have not had patience with La Masia for years. If you give [the youngsters] time, they learn the style of the first team.
‘There are players, many of us have come from there, but not patience. Now there will be changes, but they are years behind.’
Deulofeu played just 23 senior games for Barcelona, who sent him out on a number of loans before his permanent departure to the Toffees.
He is now facing a season in the Championship with Watford after the Hornets were relegated in 2019-20.