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

by Rob Urbani @efc_roburbani

Gareth Barry has been described as 'the model professional' by delighted manager Roberto Martinez.

The England international midfielder penned a three year deal with the Blues on Tuesday after departing Manchester City last month.

He becomes Martinez's first signing of the summer and the manager believes his experience on the field and off it will prove invaluable as he prepares his squad for a challenge on four fronts next term.

Martinez told evertontv: "We all know the type of footballer that he is and the type of person that he is. He will fit perfectly well into what we are at Everton. It is a great way to start pre-season.

"Gareth is a model professional. He sets high standards in everything he does and that is the perfect model you want for your young players. And add to that his experience on the football pitch and knowing how to win big games. He has that winning mentality and it is something I am delighted to bring into the side on a permanent basis.

"It was not just about what he brings with his own performances, which are of the highest level, it is the influence he has with the other players. We have got a very talented group of young footballers with big roles in the team already but you need direction and good guidance and leaders - Gareth fits into that group.

"We are excited. It is an exciting time at the Club with us going to be involved in Europe, two domestic cup competitions and the league so we need a player of Gareth's experience and know how. To be able to say he is an Evertonian is great. We enjoyed having him as a loan player, but we will be enjoying having him even more knowing he is an Everton player."

Barry's signing comes despite media speculation having linked the former Aston Villa and City man with moves elsewhere.

The manager added: "We all wanted to get Gareth. It is not an easy signing getting a player of his pedigree but we are all delighted that he has chosen to commit himself to us for the long-term and be a vital part of our football team. I'm sure the fans will be delighted with the news.

"For us, we are full of excitement to have Gareth Barry for the long term. I am sure the fans will be keen to welcome him into our family."

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