Stats: Why Gareth Barry is a perfect fit at Everton

Roberto Martinez has found yet another gem in the transfer market in the 33-year-old.

Last night, Everton confirmed the signing of Gareth Barry from Manchester City after he spent last season on loan at Goodison Park.

The news has been well-received by Evertonians, it seems, with the midfielder's age proving not to be too much of a deterrent.

And, after the impact he made last season, it's not hard to see why Barry is held in such high esteem.

  TeamPosInterceptions WonTackles WonPass Accuracy (%)AssistsAppsMins
Sylvain Distin Everton DF 56 43 84.91 0 33 2,925
James McCarthy Everton MF 52 84 87.03 3 34 2,856
Gareth Barry Man City MF 51 67 86.78 4 32 2,849
Phil Jagielka Everton DF 49 33 86.86 1 26 2,316
Seamus Coleman Everton DF 47 58 88.53 2 36 3,229

As Opta stats show, the experienced midfielder enjoyed a phenomenal campaign in defensive midfield last term. Indeed, only Sylvain Distin made more interceptions than him, while Barry won more tackles than the centre-back, as well as the likes of Phil Jagielka and Seamus Coleman.

It was his midfield partner James McCarthy that outshone him in the tackling department but, as a duo, Barry and McCarthy were highly effective last season. Both completed more than 86% of their passes and seven assists were registered between them.

The decision to sign the 33-year-old on a permanent deal was thus a no-brainer for Martinez.

  TeamPosInterceptions WonTackles WonPass Accuracy (%)AssistsAppsMins
Gaël Clichy Manchester City DF 53 69 83.68 2 28 2,333
Pablo Zabaleta Manchester City DF 44 84 85.16 2 30 2,652
Vincent Kompany Manchester City DF 37 43 89.21 0 26 2,239
Gareth Barry Manchester City MF 30 51 86.34 2 31 2,397
Javi García Manchester City MF 26 18 89.07 0 24 1,496

It is interesting to note, however, that Barry was similarly effective in his role at Manchester City. The previous season, under Roberto Mancini, the midfielder was also one of his side's best interceptors of the ball, while making a high number of tackles and registering some assists.

The difference is the number he made at Everton, having been allowed to get much more involved, with a defensive midfielder seemingly more central to Martinez's plans.  At Man City, the pace of Manuel Pellegrini's game would not quite have suited Barry as much, making a move to Goodison Park perfect for his style of play.

  TeamPosAccurate PassesAppsMins
Yaya Touré Man City MF 2,255 35 2,927
Mikel Arteta Arsenal MF 1,982 31 2,407
Steven Gerrard Liverpool MF 1,908 34 2,900
Gareth Barry Man City MF 1,871 32 2,849

The most impressive aspect of Barry's game last term, though, was something Martinez would have been especially pleased with: his passing.

The Everton man's passing accuracy was slightly lower than that of team-mate McCarthy but, in terms of the amount of passes played, the Scot didn't even come close. Indeed, Barry made the fourth-highest amount of accurate passes in the whole of the Premier League. Two of those who made more - Steven Gerrard and Yaya Toure - played more games than the experienced midfielder.

Martinez's sides have been known for their precision passing ever since he entered the world of football management. From Swansea City to Wigan Athletic and now Everton, the Spanish coach has prioritised passing as the key aspect of his tactical game.

Barry, then, is the perfect Martinez-type player. And, by all accounts, the 33-year-old is a very good signing for the Toffees.

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