Everton boss Roberto Martinez insists Ross Barkley is at a new level

The academy product has stepped up his game noticeably, according to his manager.

Everton were victorious in the Capital One Cup round of 16 at Reading last night and had some special thanks to pay to Ross Barkley for seeing them through the eventual 2-1 win.

The England international was one of the standout players on the night; scoring the first himself, and then winning the free-kick from which Gerard Deulofeu grabbed the winning goal.

And, according to the Daily Mirror, manager Roberto Martinez singled out the youngster for some special praise, following what has been a spectacular start to the season on an individual level for him.

As reported by the Mirror, the Spaniard said: "I think he has gone to a different level. For someone so young to already to have 100 games for our football club is an immense landmark.

"I think he’s a completely different player from what we saw last season or a couple of seasons back: maturity, always controlling the big moments."

The 21-year-old had come in for some criticism last season but has initiated the new campaign in impressive form; striking up an immediate attacking partnership with Romelu Lukaku to Everton's sizeable benefit.

When combined, the pair's contribution in terms of league goals currently accounts for half of the team's total through six games of the new campaign.

The Toffees sit sixth in the Premier League, thanks in large part to Barkley's resurgence. And they could potentially move into a Champions League spot if they can pick three points up on the road at West Bromwich Albion this coming weekend.

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