Everton boss Martinez: Barkley has football focus of Xavi

Everton boss Roberto Martinez is full of praise for his young midfielder Ross Barkley. Martinez says what marks the midfielder out among English players is his mental strength.
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Everton boss Roberto Martinez is full of praise for his young midfielder Ross Barkley.

Martinez says what marks the midfielder out among English players is his mental strength.

"The most important thing for me is his character. Nothing upsets him. I have seen players try to upset him and lose his focus but he doesn’t do that,’ said Martinez, who is counting on Barkley helping Everton’s chase for a Champions League place against Fulham on Sunday.

"I am looking at footballers like Iniesta and Xavi who have that mentality and character and he has got that. To see an English player with that sort of focus is quite rare.

"The goal against Newcastle shows what he is. I have seen it on the television and that doesn’t do it justice. That power, that physicality, that class, the way he strolled around the pitch — and then add in the talent and ability!

"You have very powerful players in the league but (they may be) missing that little bit of control and technical ability. But Ross has everything."

 
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