Roberto Martinez: Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert are the pillars of Everton

Roberto Martinez has commended the loyalty of Everton stalwarts Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert.

Roberto Martinez believes that Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert have become pillars of Everton football club. 

The pair both came through the club's youth academy in the same year group to become regular members of the first team and have spent their entire careers at Goodison Park. 

Osman and Hibbert have both been playing in the senior squad since 2000 and have made a combined 723 appearances for the Toffees.

It is a remarkable show of loyalty from the duo and Martinez says that they have both created a legacy because of their long-standing service. 

“I think Leon Osman and Tony Hibbert are two big pillars for us in the way they have come through the Academy, devoted their careers to the club and they are true Evertonians," Martinez told the Liverpool Echo

“It is hard [to imagine] because in the modern game, it is very, very difficult to get that kind of loyalty."

Osman is set to make his 400th appearance for the club this weekend against West Ham United and he will be hoping that it will be in winning circumstances. 

Hibbert could also feature in the match as Martinez has hinted that he may be used to cover for Leighton Baines at left-back.

The 33-year-old has played most his career on the right-hand side of defence, but Baines' injury means that Everton are short-staffed and Hibbert may be forced to play an unfamiliar role.

The Toffees will be determined to collect the three points against the Hammers in spite of injury problems.

Expectations have rarely been higher at Goodison Park in Osman's or Hibbert's careers to date and they know that the side will need to raise their game if they are to match them.

Everton are currently in 10th spot, but a victory tomorrow would push them up the table and towards the European spot that they so desperately crave. 

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