Everton defender Phil Jagielka has hailed the impact that Ross Barkley made on his return from injury at the weekend.
Barkley started his first game of the 2014/15 season, as he made his comeback ahead of schedule, and his performance certainly helped the side.
Everton have been in poor form this campaign, but with Barkley back in the team they were back to their best.
The Toffees ran out 3-0 winners over Aston Villa and Jagielka believes that Barkley's display was as good as any in a long time - even prior to his injury set-back.
"Ross got a bit tired in the end but it was as good as I’ve seen him play in a long time and that is before his injury as well," he said to the Daily Post.
“He does give us something extra. We’re all very well passing it around at the back but when we get to the final third we need that extra bit of ooomph – that power and pace.
“We’ve got that from other players but Ross is a bit different. He is a bit bullish, he doesn’t mind players crowding around him – he’ll just shrug them off and go past them.
“He’s hard to play against and he brings other players in off the back of that. Ross plays at full pelt anyway, more or less at 100% all the time. He’s not a player who coasts through games.
“He’s very powerful and dominant so it had to be right. But the medical staff worked well with him and over the last few weeks I spoke to him and he said he feels really fit.
“That said there’s a difference between feeling fit and playing games. He said he felt really good at half time but then as the second half went on he did look a little bit tired. I’d rather him do that than coast through games.
“Hopefully he’s growing up as a person and will carry on improving on the pitch too.
“It’s something to look forward to having him back.”
Barkley has a lot of expectations on him and is a player who Everton can build their team around in the future.
After signing a new contract over the summer, the 20-year-old will be looking to push on this season after the initial set-back of injury.
He appears to have wasted no time returning to top form, and that will be a massive boost for the Merseyside outfit.
The side are still in the bottom half of the Premier League table, but they are only four points away from the Champions League spots and they will be aiming to breach that gap as quickly as possible.