McCarthy talks up Everton midfield partner Gareth Barry

McCarthy is likely to link up with Gareth Barry in the heart of the Everton midfield again this season.

Everton midfielder James McCarthy has been talking up his midfield partner Gareth Barry along with describing the benefits of having an experienced player alongside him.

The duo worked effectively as a pair last season as Everton looked to control games in the middle of the park. The experience of Barry along with the energy and pressing that McCarthy provided ended up being one of the hardest midfield combinations to face last term as the Toffees mounted a challenge for a top four finish - only for it to eventually fizzle out as they finished seven points adrift of Arsenal in fifth place.

Barry's loan signing from Manchester City was permanent this summer as manager Roberto Martinez looks to keep hold of the nucleus of a side that was so effective last season, and proved so difficult for the rest of the league to come up against. 

McCarthy told the Everton website that he is glad Barry has extended his stay at Goodison Park.

The Republic of Ireland international said: "He's an experienced head and he gives you so much. He helped me kick on last season and now he's back here full-time, which is brilliant for the Club and also each and every one of us.

"He was always there for me last season. If I got caught out of position he would cover for me and vice versa, I would try to cover him. But he'd always be talking - on and off the pitch - and it's brilliant to have such an experienced head alongside you."

At 23, McCarthy still has a lot of development within in his game and one would think he is only going to get better from now on, and having someone 10 years older than him in the side, who has experience of competing in sides at the top level is likely to help the former Wigan Athletic man develop even further.

They both cover a lot of ground in the middle of the park and seem to form a good partnership given their different attributes.

For Barry himself, he provides some key leadership qualities as the side looks to build on their fifth-place finish as well as quality, which will also be a huge asset as Everton enter the Europa League this season as well as trying to keep up their impressive form on the domestic front.

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