Martinez: Barry one of the best

Speaking ahead of their home match against Stoke on Monday, Everton manager Roberto Manager claimed Gareth Barry is one of the all-time Premier League greats.

Barry was instrumental in Everton's tight 1-0 win over Newcastle at St James' Park on Boxing Day and will be called into action again on Monday to hold the midfield against Stoke City.

"He is not just one of my best signings, he is one of the greatest players in the Premier League and he has proved that with the amount of games he has played in the league," Martinez said.

"There are not many who can get to that level and I still believe he will be the outfield player who beats all those playing records.

"Gareth is someone who from the outside maybe doesn't get the attention – but inside we know what we've got."

The 34-year-old midfielder is just 52 matches behind Ryan Giggs' Premier League appearance record of 632 matches.

"He is an incredible focal point of our team and just a calm influence who sets the highest standards I have seen in a footballer since I became a manager," Martinez added.

Martinez signed the midfielder from Manchester City in 2013, initially on a loan deal before making the move permanent.

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