Seamus Coleman has become an increasingly influential figure in the Everton dressing room this season.
That is the view of manager Roberto Martinez, who has been impressed by the way in which the 25-year-old defender has evolved into a leader on the field.
Coleman, who netted his fourth goal of the campaign in the victory over Swansea last weekend, has earned rave reviews for his performances this season.
But it is his influence off the field as much as on it that has delighted the manager.
Martinez told evertonfc.com: "He has probably benefitted from being given the captaincy for Ireland. But it has been a journey - not one moment - for Seamus.
"In pre-season he was taking things in, trying to get into certain positions on the pitch and then he scored his first goal in the opening fixture. Then going to Ireland and being captain - there have been many key moments that have allowed Seamus to take his mentality to the next level.
"We've got a really good dressing room and I think the characters are infectious, and when you look at the experienced people like Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin, Tim Howard, Gareth Barry, Leon Osman and the young group of people like Ross Barkley, James McCarthy, Romelu Lukaku - Seamus is in the middle between those two groups.
"He is feeding from both groups and he has been a big influence on the younger players like Gerard Deulofeu, his mentality has really impressed me."
As for his contribution during games, the manager has not been surprised.
He explained: "I knew how special a player he is when I came here.
"Full-back is one of the most important positions in the modern game. You need to be a complete player, who can defend, and a solid footballer to keep concentration levels high for 90 minutes and make the difference going into the final third. Seamus has been an incredible example of that.
"The accuracy and quality from him in the final third can surprise anybody because it is of such a high level. But the way that he has been playing and the responsibility he has been taking doesn't surprise me at all."
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