Everton forward Gerard Deulofeu has hailed the tactical style of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola as “amazing”.
Guardiola has managed 10 wins from his first 12 matches in charge at the Etihad Stadium, with his sole defeat coming in their last Premier League outing against Tottenham, although they still top the table by a point.
Deulofeu, who made his Barcelona debut under Guardiola at the age of 18 against Real Mallorca in 2011, will get the chance to face his old boss when Everton take on City in Manchester on Saturday.
And, while the 22-year-old is confident that his side can get a result, he admits that Guardiola teams are frequently too tough to overcome.
“Every year, he played the same in Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now Manchester City,” Deulofeu told Everton TV. “It’s an amazing style and if you have specific players, the players you want, that style is the best.
“We know we go to an amazing pitch and difficult stadium but I think we can take the three points because we have a good, strong team. I’m confident.”
Deulofeu says he feels fortunate to have been able to develop his all-round game under Guardiola, before he stepped down as head coach at Barca in 2012.
“I have good memories because I stayed a long time in my career at Barcelona and Pep gave me my debut in the first division,” he said. “He is a big manager but this weekend we need to take three points from him.
“When I had the chance to train with Guardiola, I was 17 or 18 years old. I was very young but I remember that after training, Pep would talk to me about things to improve my football.
“He would show me some actions and movements in defence because when I was 17 or 18 I would always think about attack.
“I was lucky to train with the best players in the world [at Barcelona]. They are good memories but now this moment is about Everton. It’s three, four, five years ago – it’s my past and now I need to think about my present and future.”
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