Hands off Coleman: Everton insist Ireland star is staying at Goodison
Everton best place for 'world class' Irish star Coleman insists Martinez
SéAMUS Coleman is staying at Goodison Park and is already in the world-class bracket, Everton boss Roberto Martinez has insisted.
Coleman's long-term future at the club was again under the spotlight in the last 24 hours when former Ireland full-back Denis Irwin said that the Donegal lad could only fulfil his potential at a big club like Manchester United.
Those comments by the ex-United man have not been well received at Goodison and Toffees boss Martinez, speaking ahead of tonight's clash with Chelsea, has hit back.
"He is making a judgement about a player who is very important for us," Martinez said of Irwin.
"I still think Séamus Coleman can develop and progress with Everton.
"At the moment he is enjoying his football, I think he has an important role in our side and I think this is the best place for him to develop and fulfil his potential.
"He is a world-class footballer in the way he performed last season."
Coleman has repeatedly been linked with a move to Old Trafford but former Red Devil Irwin, who occasionally works for the official TV station, has sparked a real debate on the blue side of Merseyside, especially his comment that to fulful his potential, Coleman "has to move to a club that plays regularly in Europe".
Everton watchers, of course, know that Coleman and the Toffees are still in the knock-out stages of the Europa League while United failed to qualify for Europe this season and face a battle to secure Champions League qualification for next season.
Meanwhile, James McCarthy is again an injury concern for club and country as he could miss tonight's clash with Chelsea.