By Dominic Toner

Gerard Deulofeu is pleased to be playing as a striker in pre-season.

Manager Ronald Koeman has opted to use the Spaniard as a forward instead of on the wing, and the switch has paid off with the 22-year-old scoring in two consecutive friendly games.

Deulofeu followed up up his goal against Barnsley with another pre-season strike against MK Dons on Tuesday, much to the delight of supporters on Twitter.

“I like playing centre-forward a lot because I’m near to the goal and I have more chances, “ Deulofeu told Everton TV.

“I’ve played there before for Barcelona ‘B’ and I’m a quick player, so normally I’m too quick for the centre-halves and I can run in behind them. My feeling playing centre-forward is very good.”

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He could be the solution to Everton’s striker issue, as The Sun claim that their top-scorer from last season Romelu Lukaku is still hopeful of returning to former club Chelsea.

Everton look set to lose out on Polish international Arkaduisz Milik as Dutch publication De Telegraaf report that Ajax are set to accept a bid from Napoli.

Deulofeu joined Everton from Barcelona in 2015 after a successful 12-month loan spell at the club two seasons before.

The Spaniard made 29 appearances and scored four goals during his first stay, which promoted a permanent transfer of £4.2million for the youngster.

He is contracted at the Merseyside club until 2018 and is expected to feature heavily under Koeman this season.

Deulofeu could be in line to start the Premier League opener against Tottenham on 13 August as the leading striker, especially if he continues to thrive in that position in the upcoming pre-season Dresden Cup.

In other Everton team news, a former fan-favourite has taken a new managerial position.