Teen star Deulofeu eyes Everton bow
Everton forward Gerard Deulofeu has told boss Roberto Martinez he is ready to make his Premier League debut against Cardiff City on Saturday.
The 19-year-old is at Everton on a season-long loan from Barcelona and made an eye-catching first start for the club against Stevenage in the League Cup second round in midweek.
Deulofeu scored the opening goal in Everton's 2-1 victory and Martinez could hand him his first taste of league action at the Cardiff City Stadium.
The Spain Under-21 international is confident he could thrive in the Premier League despite only have been in the country for a couple of months.
"I'm happy with what I've done so far but I'm here to learn," Deulofeu said.
"It's all about getting better and working hard, trying to improve all the time - taking the team forward and progressing as much as we can.
"To score my first goal in my first game in England against Stevenage the other day was fantastic and the way the crowd cheered, it was a great moment.
"I'm very, very happy - both to make my debut and the way it went. Hopefully I can play a part against Cardiff.
"The main thing is that we managed to win and get through to the next round of the cup. Let's hope we continue this form and get three points against Cardiff."
Deulofeu has adapted quickly to life in England and praised his Everton team-mates for making him feel very welcome at Goodison Park since he arrived on Merseyside in July.
"They're all great. From the first day, they have been looking after me," added Deulofeu.
"But it's funny with Seamus Coleman in particular, we've kind of really hit it off from the first moment. We're always laughing at something or other. So it's going really well."
Everton have been boosted by the return of Darron Gibson and Antolin Alcaraz to full training ahead of the trip to south Wales.
Republic of Ireland midfielder Gibson had been struggling with a knee injury while Paraguay defender Alcaraz is yet to feature due to a hamstring strain.
Neither player is likely to be risked against Cardiff, but Gibson will be assessed before Martinez makes any final decisions on his matchday squad.
Cardiff City midfielder Jordan Mutch praised the impact of record �9.5 million signing Gary Medel since his arrival at the club and is desperate to play alongside him against Everton.
Chile international Medel, who joined Cardiff from Spanish outfit Sevilla, impressed on his debut for the Bluebirds as they claimed a surprise 3-2 win over Manchester City last weekend.
Mutch has found himself on the bench in Cardiff's opening two games and is eager to secure a place in the starting line-up with Medel.
"Gary is an absolutely brilliant player. I know that having trained with him and watched him," Mutch said.
"The way he plays is terrific. It would be great if I have the chance to play alongside him for Cardiff.
"Competition is fierce and there are so many quality players in our squad, but hopefully that will bring out the best in me and I will certainly work hard to achieve that."
Cardiff are set to be without striker Andrea Cornelius after he went off with an ankle injury in their 2-0 win over Accrington Stanley as they progressed to round three of the League Cup.
The injury to the Denmark international is not understood to be serious but the 20-year-old will not be risked by Cardiff manager Malky Mackay.