Roberto Martinez explains how Ross Barkley has raised his game

Barkley has been performing well recently for Everton having scored a brace in the weekend's win over Aston Villa.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has praised Ross Barkley for his persistence after he went through a something of drop in form last season, and has described it as a turning point for the 21-year-old.

Barkley has been in very good form this season for the Toffees, which was illustrated at the weekend as he managed to find the net twice as they swept aside bottom club Aston Villa 4-0 at Goodison Park.

The Everton boss is quoted in the Liverpool Echo, saying: “The big turning point for Ross was last season, he wanted to take responsibility of not getting a good level of performances week in week out whether that was because of the Europa League, or the demands we had that season.

“In certain aspects he has got better but this season Ross has gone to another level.

“Remember the young man we had three years ago, he would make the same decisions in the same area of the pitch now he is a different player, a different footballer in that respect.”

There could be a simple explanation that after such a good season in 2013/14, there was a lot of expectation that Barkley had to deal with for the first time, combined with them embarking on a Europa League campaign. 

Then again, there is just the natural process of maturing. Nearly all players at a young age have their ups and downs and Barkley seems to have bounced back from his poor spell of form. This season he seems to have kicked on, having managed to find the net on five occasions in the Premier League so far. 

Barkley also seems to be thriving on being a key member of the side rather than being hindered. He is an immensely talented footballer, and there looks to be more to come from him. For now Everton will hope to keep him fit, and that his performances continue on an upward trajectory.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch