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Saturday 21 October 2017

Martinez excited by Barkley's potential

Everton boss Roberto Martinez believes there is plenty more to come from teenager Ross Barkley – but he has not cemented a place in the team yet.

Barkley (19) underlined his potential by capping an excellent performance with a stunning long-range strike in last week's season-opening 2-2 draw at Norwich in the Premier League.

The midfielder, who has represented England at various under-age levels, has been tipped for big things but Everton have carefully nurtured his progress.

He first appeared in a matchday squad three years ago, but suffered a triple leg break soon after and has been eased back, via loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds.

Martinez said: "When you have all the attributes he has as a player – he's a powerful boy with exquisite technical ability – he gets you excited.

"I think more importantly, in a young player, you need that mentality and that desire to learn and to want to listen. Ross has that. He's a lot older in football terms than in the age that he shows."

Martinez is now preparing for his first competitive home game in charge as West Brom visit Goodison Park.

The Spaniard is relishing what will be a special occasion for him but his prime concern is his team's performance. He said: "It will be special but football is about players. It's not about managers. The first home game is a great memory but the memory will be around the result."

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