Everton manager Roberto Martinez says young midfielder Ross Barkley is like a player from a ‘different culture’.
Barkley has had a breakout season for Everton with four goals in 21 appearances in all competitions, while he also made his senior international debut for England in September.
The 20-year-old attacking midfielder is expected to be part of England’s World Cup squad to go to Brazil and Martinez believes Barkley has a level of technique and control on the ball that is decidedly un-English.
“He (Barkley) has the physical elements of the British game; the intensity and the power,” Martinez said on Friday.
“But Ross also has the touch of someone brought up in a different culture.”
Barkley and Martinez have both been critical to Everton’s strong form this season with the Merseyside club sitting sixth in the English Premier League with 42 points after 22 matches – just one point outside the UEFA Champions League positions.
Martinez also hailed Barkley’s ‘temperament’, arguing the midfielder does not have the ‘naughty’ streak, which leaves some of England’s best young talent unfulfilled.
“Nothing fazes Ross. That temperament, I’m not sure we’ve seen that too often over the years,” the 40-year-old Spaniard said.
“For some reason, the English talent is often the naughty boy.
“It’s a short fuse or he gets into some kind of trouble. Drinking, smoking.
“Ross is the opposite. I think partly because he had a big injury at 17 (when he broke his leg in three places).
“All of a sudden something took it all away from him. He realised what he could lose. But home is good too.
“He’s well-grounded. His mum is a great influence. He’s one in a million.”