thumbnail Hello,

The 19-year-old scored a screamer against Norwich on the opening weekend of the season, and his new manager believes he is ready for more first-team opportunities

Roberto Martinez insists Ross Barkley is ready to hold down a regular place in the Everton midfield.

The 19-year-old capped an impressive all-round display against Norwich on Saturday with a superbly-taken goal as the Toffees got their Premier League season underway with a 2-2 draw.

And Martinez believes Barkley has the talent to cement his place in the heart of the midfield, as Manchester United continue to chase Marouane Fellaini.

“The goal that he scored was a wonderful piece of skill and a wonderful piece of quality but I was really happy with his contribution, the responsibility he took and his performance,” Martinez told the club's official website.

“Any youngster could be very, very proud of what he did. He got on the ball and he made us play.
 
“It's not about him wanting to perform like that consistently - I think that's where he is now. 
 
“I think he is a lot older in terms of football experiences and I think his time with England has really helped him in terms of opening his mind. 
 
“His loan periods have helped as well and going through a serious injury at a young age too [Barkley fractured his leg in three places while playing for England Under-19s in October 2010]. 
 
“So I would say he is a lot 'older' than his age reflects. All I am guided by is his work and what he has done in pre-season and, for me, he's a player in a very, very good moment of form but physically and mentally he's in a very good moment as well.

“He's mature and he's desperate to keep that place. I think when you've got good competition for places in football, the mentality narrows down really quickly - all he wants to do is keep that place and keep enjoying his football. 
 
“That's what I want him to do. He's been performing in that manner throughout pre-season in different spells and now he wants to make sure that continues."

Related

From the web