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Barkley is a diamond, says Everton boss Martinez

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By Andrew Tuft

Monday 23 December 2013

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has waxed lyrical about midfielder Ross Barkley, Yahoo Sports has reported, after the England international scored a spectacular winning goal to give the Toffees victory at Swansea City on Sunday.

Ross Barkley

Barkley converted a long-range free-kick to deliver a 2-1 win for the visitors, who had taken the lead through an emphatic Seamus Coleman drive from distance. Bryan Oviedo then deflected in Dwight Tiendalli’s scrappy effort to level the scores before Barkley intervened, scoring his third goal of the season and first since the end of September.

Martinez was thoroughly impressed by Barkley’s contribution, praising the 20-year-old as one of the brightest prospects around. “Ross is growing game by game,” Martinez said. “He is showing different aspects of his play, he is a quite incredible diamond of English football.

The winning goal, technically, is as good as it gets,” the former Wigan boss continued. “A lot has been said about Ross, but it's always an understatement.

He's an incredible listener and young man with a lot of potential. He always comes up with something different in a game to show he can develop. I'm proud of seeing him grow.

Barkley revealed after the match that he has never practices a free-kick in training, despite converting an effort that hit the crossbar on its way past goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel. Striker Romelu Lukaku also wanted to take the set-piece but Martinez believes Barkley’s natural instinct took over.

You could see he was fighting with Romelu because Romelu really practices his free-kicks,” Martinez said. “But Ross is a player who gets fed by feelings. He's a natural talent who can play in any position. We didn't know he could take free-kicks, but it's good to know from now on.

The win put Everton fourth in the Premier League table, and should Chelsea lose to Arsenal on Monday evening the Merseyside club will remain in the Champions League places over Christmas. They are a point ahead of the London Blues and two points behind league leaders and local rivals Liverpool.

See what the expert tipsters are tipping on OLBG

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