Roberto Martinez has claimed that Gareth Barry is 'one of the best English players ever', following Everton's 2-1 victory over Manchester City in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday.
According to BBC Sport, Martinez also suggested that Barry's precense has helped bring young players through at Goodison Park.
"I have never seen a player with such an incredible professionalism as Gareth Barry," he said. "Gareth is one of those players who gets underrated.
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"The reason we have so many developing young players is there are leaders in the mould of Gareth Barry. It is no coincidence when we have Gareth Barry around them."
The midfielder has made 582 Premier League appearances for Aston Villa, City and Everton, also appearing for England 53 times.
Martinez commented following the 34-year-old's commanding display against former employers City, and whilst the Englishman has proved a reliable player throughout his career, his manager's suggestion will leave football fans perplexed.
A lack of English midfield talent is perhaps why the Spaniard has made such a claim, but to compare Barry to the likes of England legends Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes is perhaps bold.
Martinez would be right to suggest Barry has been a terrific servant to club and country throughout his career, but to suggest he is one of England's best ever will be met by considerably doubt by fans.
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