England veteran Gareth Barry stole the show with a headline-grabbing performance against Chelsea on Sunday, and Everton’s newest addition has been hotly tipped to make a huge impact at Goodison Park this season.
The Toffees are one of only two teams that remain unbeaten in the league – their Merseyside rivals Liverpool being the other – and the midfielder has played a pivotal role in the streak by making an impressive debut against the Stamford Bridge side.
Barry, on loan from last year’s Premier League runners-up Manchester City, made the surprise move across the north-west on deadline day after initial talks between the two clubs stalled over Barry’s astronomical wages.
A breakthrough only came when City agreed to pay a large percentage of his salary, and Barry has spoken of his relief that he is now able to resurrect his career.
Questions had been raised over his future after the arrival of Manuel Pellegrini, with the midfielder seemingly not a part of the Chilean’s plans as he overhauled the Citizens’ squad.
Yet, despite falling down the pecking order at Eastlands, Barry can go on to be one of the success stories of the season in an Everton midfield that has suffered a hefty blow in the form of Marouane Fellaini’s move to Manchester United.
Like Fellaini, Barry holds the ball up well, can pass with deadly accuracy and contributes his fair share of goals.
The 32-year-old made his name as Aston Villa captain before his big-money switch to City, and while he has sometimes struggled on the international stage, he has remained one of the most consistent, reliable midfielders in the Premier League.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez hailed Barry’s performance during the 1-0 victory over Chelsea – in which Steven Naismith scored the winner, and if he can steer clear of injury, City may live to regret offloading an experienced head who can lead on and off the pitch.
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