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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League

by Matthew Gamble @efc_mattgamble

Roberto Martinez believes Ross Barkley is one of the world’s best players for his age.

The Everton manager was speaking after the 20-year-old midfielder penned a new four year contract with the Blues.

Barkley has had a stunning last 12 months, becoming an Everton regular and then an England World Cup player.

Martinez told evertontv: “In terms of finding another player of that quality, talent and potential, you will find it very difficult to find someone in world football.

“I don’t think you can see many players with the strength and the technique he brings; it is rare as a footballer. For me the most impressive aspect is his personality, he has such a humble way of coping with the fame and success he has accumulated.”

The Everton boss explained why the news was important not just in the present but for the future as well.

He declared: “It is very significant because to have that stability and focus ahead of the season is very exciting.

“It is a massive football statement and a clear example for the players in the younger development groups who have a dream of playing first team football.

“I hope the fans are proud, excited and that they can show that warmth to Ross when they see him in action.”

Barkley will make his first appearance of pre-season on Sunday when Everton host FC Porto at Goodison Park for Leon Osman’s testimonial. Click here to buy tickets.

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