Ross Barkley has thanked Roberto Martinez for helping him earn a place in the England set-up.
The 19-year-old midfielder has featured in every league game this season, rewarding Martinez’s faith with some stand-out performances.
Reflecting on his season so far under the new boss, Barkley told evertontv: “He’s given me a lot of freedom, he believes in me. It’s good because he’s put the belief into all of the players and we’re all playing well.
“He wants me to be an all-round player, and to be able to play in lots of different positions. He’s spoken to me a lot about stuff like that and tactical ways of the game."
Barkley has also set his sights on becoming a regular on the scoresheet after notching his first senior goals against Norwich City and Newcastle United this season.
He added: “With the players around me like Steven Pienaar, [Leighton] Baines, Romelu Lukaku, Kevin Mirallas, you’re always going to get chances.
“I’m happy with my two goals, but I feel like I could have scored a few more.
“I’ve set myself targets. It would be good to get double figures in my first full season in the Premier League, but any more is a bonus.”
After a string of impressive displays and a lively cameo appearance for England against Moldova in September, Barkley has been tipped to feature again in the upcoming friendlies against Chile and Germany.
But, the Wavertree-born midfielder insists he is concentrating on performing well for Everton rather than a place in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the World Cup next year.
“It was a nice surprise to be selected [in September's England squad]," he recalled. "The gaffer told me and I was over the moon. It just shows that hard work pays off.
“The first two days I’d say there were a lot of nerves, but then it settled because it felt like I was meant to be there.
“It’s helpful being around different players that I’m not used to, it’s good just talking to them and seeing the way they approach games. It bodes well for future games for me.
“It was unfortunate I just missed out on a goal, but it’s always good playing for your country. To come on for the seniors was a great feeling and a good moment for my family as well.
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“It’s every youngster’s dream to play in the World Cup. But I’m not really thinking about it at the moment - hopefully if I play well for Everton then I will get there.”