Next Match:

Stoke City (A) Wed 4 Mar 2015, 19:45, Barclays Premier League


Roberto Martinez says Sylvain Distin’s new contract is reward for the defender’s continued level of performance.

The evergreen Frenchman, 36, is now tied to the Club until the end of the 2014/15 season after inking a one-year extension on Wednesday.

Distin is likely to miss Saturday’s game against Aston Villa through injury but is expected to be in contention for next Sunday’s trip to White Hart Lane.

“More than anything, to keep him at this football club for a longer period is really important. It’s terrific news,” Martinez declared at his pre-match press conference.

“We had the very good news with Leighton and now with Sylvain. It’s important that we keep these players who set big standards in the dressing room.

“It’s all that Sylvain deserves because he is at a moment of his career where he keeps enjoying season after season. He’s been terrific this campaign and we are all delighted that he is staying at this club for longer.”

Having secured the services of two of his most valued senior professionals on new contracts, Martinez reiterated that agreeing improved long-term deals with the Club’s emerging stars this season - notably Seamus Coleman and Ross Barkley - remains a priority.

Right-back Coleman and midfielder Barkley are contracted to Everton until 2018 and 2016 respectively.

But Martinez is keen that both are recognised for the progress they have made.

He said: “Seamus is in a completely different situation because his contract is not running out. It’s the same with Ross Barkley.

“But some of the youngsters at the Club have this season gone up to the next level and, contractually, that should be reflected.

“That’s what we are going to do. We are going to reward the players who are developing and doing well.”

Tickets for Saturday's game against Aston Villa are still available - click here to buy online, call 0871 663 1878 or visit the Goodison Park Box Office, Everton Two or the TicketQuarter.

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