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Can Gerard Deulofeu make the most of his second chance at Barcelona?

The winger says he is a more complete player now

Germany v Spain - 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship Final Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images

The deal is done, Gerard Deulofeu is back at Barcelona, and it’s one of the club’s most curious/disappointing/underwhelming transfers, depending on your viewpoint.

And like it or not, Deulofeu will see playing time next season. Although it has not been confirmed, former Everton boss Roberto Martinez explained some time ago, that having brought him back he must now stay in Barcelona’s first-team squad for a year.

Which means he’s not just coming back to make up the numbers, while he may not be an automatic starter, Deulofeu still has a role to play and the Spain Under-21 captain seems optimistic about his chances.

"I'm finally going to have the opportunity that I've never had before, which is to play for Barca's first team," he told Diario Sport.

"I'm really happy to be coming back home, to have that opportunity that I've not previously had and to spend the whole season with the first team -- I've been waiting for this chance for many years.

"I'm going to stay. I'm really happy that Barca have faith in me.”

FC Barcelona v RCD Mallorca  - Liga BBVA Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

So where will he play, when he does get the chance? Well, that's the problem, but probably wide right, with Lionel Messi dropping into a deeper role as he did last season – unless Ernesto Valverde has another plan.

But to succeed at Barcelona he is going to need to consistently deliver the goods from the off, something that he has struggled to do at Everton and AC Milan.

His work rate and attitude have also been called into question but Deulofeu claims he has improved since he was last at Camp Nou.

"What I want, at the very least, is to spend a year with Barca and to have the opportunity I've been looking for. I'm much more mature in all senses,” he added.

"On top of that, I think I've improved defensively, I'm a more committed player. I would say I am a more complete player, too.

"No, I want the chance to play alongside great players.

"When you're ambitious and you want to be a winner, you want to be with the best. Everyone knows there are really good players, but I have confidence in myself."

Deulofeu may have confidence, but he is going to need more than that next season, if he is to take what will surely be his last chance at Barcelona.

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