Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has praised the steadying impact that Gareth Barry has on the side.
The experienced midfielder was praised for his impact after initially joining on loan from Manchester City in 2013 but came in for criticism last term following a string of sluggish displays.
However, he seems to have rediscovered his previous form this season at Goodison Park and looks set to play a leading role in the Toffees’ revival.
Everton struggled to adapt to the duel-commitments of playing at home and abroad in the Europa League last term, eventually finishing 11th in the table.
They look to be back on track this time around though, losing just one of their opening four Premier League matches and currently sit ninth in the table.
Lukaku himself has been excellent but believes Barry deserves just as much praise for the way he has helped the side’s younger players during games.
The Belgian international admits the veteran is key part of the Everton system and has hailed his contribution so far this campaign.
“Gareth is fundamental to our team,” he said. “He’s the one who coaches all the young players around him as the game is going on.
“He calms us down when we’re in possession and he knows when we need to play quicker, so he’s very important to our team.”
Next up for the Toffees is Lukaku’s former side Chelsea next Saturday, a game they are 4.00, with the draw 3.50 and the Blues 1.85.
The striker is currently 21.00 to top the scoring charts and will be desperate to find the net against Jose Mourinho’s men.