Roberto Martinez says Gareth Barry’s performance against Chelsea highlighted why he was so keen to bring the midfielder to Goodison Park this summer.
The deadline day signing from Manchester City enjoyed a fine Everton debut and his display was described as a 'masterclass' by the Blues' Spanish boss.
Barry’s name was cheered by the Goodison faithful when the teams were read out ahead of kick off and he later endeared himself further to the Gwladys Street with a superb last-ditch challenge on Samuel Eto’o.
The game was evenly-poised at nil-nil when the 32-year-old rescued his team with a sliding block following Tim Howard’s mistake, denying what looked like a certain goal.
That sense of anticipation is one of the many qualities Martinez believes Barry will bring to Everton’s side.
“I’ve been a big admirer of Gareth over the years,” Martinez told evertontv. “He senses danger like nobody, gives you composure and is full of good decisions. He establishes good relationships with players all over the park.
“He is very unique because his type of midfielder doesn’t normally exist in English football. You get a lot of foreign players coming in and playing that role really well but Gareth Barry is something else.
“He is going to be an incredible influence on James McCarthy and Ross Barkley. He is going to provide perfect guidance for the future.”
Prior to Saturday’s win over Chelsea, Barry had played no football since pre-season.
But the England international showed little signs of rustiness with a performance of the highest quality against Chelsea’s nimble attacking playmakers.
Martinez continued: “It’s not easy to come into a game like today and be fit enough when you haven’t been involved in competitive football. That shows you the professionalism he has and that he has been looking after himself.
“The partnership he created with Leon Osman was truly magnificent. He is a player that already feels part of the furniture at Everton.”