Gareth Barry is “one of the best English players ever”, according to Everton boss Roberto Martinez.
The 34-year-old midfielder was in fine form as Everton edged out Manchester City 2-1 in the Capital One Cup semi-final, first leg at Goodison Park on Wednesday night.
Barry, who has been one of Everton’s standout performers, laid on the winning goal as Romelu Lukaku’s headed his 19th of the season from close range and put in a masterful midfield display against Manuel Pellegrini’s men.
“I have never seen a player with such an incredible professionalism as Gareth Barry,” said Martinez.
“Gareth is one of those players who gets underrated.
“The reason we have so many developing young players is there are leaders in the mould of Gareth Barry. It is no coincidence when we have Gareth Barry around them.
“For me, he is one of the best English players ever. He could reach 600 Premier League appearances this season,” said Martinez.