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Stoke City (H) Fri 26 Dec 2014, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Martinez: Felli Influence Key

by Daniel Alston @efc_danalston

Roberto Martinez says he wants Marouane Fellaini to have a 'massive influence' on his new-look Everton team.

The Blues boss was speaking after making the Belgian skipper for the second half of Sunday's game against Austria Vienna.

Newspaper speculation has linked Fellaini with a move away from the Club this summer but Martinez insists Goodison Park is the best place for the 25-year-old to progress his career.

“Marouane is an international footballer and he’s going to be involved, if all goes well, in a World Cup next year," Martinez explained.

“He’s had a fantastic impact in the Premier League and hopefully now is the time he can carry on showing his massive influence in the game for us.

"He’s still a very young man but I am really looking forward to seeing Marouane working hard and making sure that he sets really good standards at this club."

On his decision to hand Fellaini the armband, the Blues boss added: “We have a very good group of senior players in our dressing room, and some players need that extra bit of responsibility.

"We have youngsters at the Club and they need to get opportunities but the senior players at the Club are massively important to start the season as strong as we can be.”

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