Gareth Barry has starred so far in Everton's unbeaten start to the Barclays Premier League season, following his deadline day move from Manchester City.
The 32-year old England midfielder's brilliant debut performance drew glowing comments from fans and pundits alike.
If he appears in Everton's upcoming game against Newcastle, the on-loan star will join the exclusive club of players who have made more than 500 Premier League appearances in their careers.
Even players such as Paul Scholes (499) have not reached that hallowed barrier. The list includes the likes of Ryan Giggs, David James, and Frank Lampard. Giggs and Lampard are the only two to still be playing in the top-flight, so Barry will be on an exclusive list indeed.
The Englishman has been backed by manager Roberto Martinez to "play up to his 40s". Most certainly, 32 is a young age to be reaching 500 appearances. Lampard at Chelsea is 35 years of age and has only 59 more. This remarkable figure is best explained by the fact that Barry has appeared consistently in 30+ games a season since he made his debut in 1998.
Even at the notoriously competitive Manchester City, Barry missed only a handful of games in four seasons.
However, the former Aston Villa player left the Etihad Stadium in the knowledge that regular appearances under new manager Manuel Pellegrini would be limited. His move to the blue side of Liverpool has proven to be an inspired one.
Barry, a major part of England's disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign, will be hoping to force his way back into the international set-up. He has appeared just once - in a friendly against Norway - for the Three Lions since Roy Hodgson took over, and was forced off through injury at half time.
He has appeared 53 times so far for England, and undoubtedly wants to be a part of the national team again in anticipation of making it to the 2014 World Cup.
Barry will most probably make a permanent move to Everton in time for the start of next season. If he continues his good form and remains injury free, there is a good chance that he will become an Everton regular.
In the words of Roberto Martinez, "Gareth could be a very significant player for Everton for years to come.”
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