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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Everton have secured the services of teenage midfielder Ross Barkley on a new long term contract.

Barkley has agreed terms on a four-and-a-half year deal which keeps him at Goodison until the summer of 2016.

The highly-rated academy graduate has this year made the progression to Everton's first team, making his debut in the first game of the season against QPR.

He turned 18 two weeks ago, making him eligible to pen a lengthy deal to stay at Goodison.
 
Chairman Bill Kenwright said: "We are pleased but obviously not at all surprised that Ross has agreed his first long term contract with the Club.
 
"Ross has recently talked of his commitment to Everton and his growth under the very special guidance of David Moyes, his staff and indeed our senior players.  That combination of expertise can only be of benefit to any young footballer."     
 
Barkley was poised to breakthrough last season before a freak injury sustained with England Under-19s saw him suffer a horrific leg break.

That blow kept him out until the summer when he toured America with the first team.
 
Speaking in this month's Evertonian magazine, Barkley said: "I am still only very young and the manager knows what he's doing and what's best for me.
 
"He's had young players coming through before. That's what's great about Everton. The manager will always give young players the chance to play at the right time."
 
Stuart Pearce handed Barkley his first Under-21s call-up earlier this season, while most recently he captained - and scored for - Everton in their Youth Cup win over Crystal Palace this week.

Barkley has four starts and three substitute appearances this season.

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