Martinez hails emergence of defensive duo at Everton

Roberto Martinez Press Conference Smiling

Roberto Martinez believes Ramiro Funes Mori has made an excellent start to life in the Premier League, helped in no small part by John Stones.

Ramiro Funes Mori has made a great start to life at Everton and manager Roberto Martinez believes the Argentine has defensive partner John Stones, in part, to thank for his smooth transition.

The 24-year-old arrived at Goodison Park for £9.5 million back on September 1st and has found himself thrust into the first-team limelight following injuries to several other key members of the squad.

Capable of playing at either full back or in a central defensive role, Funes Mori has already made 11 appearances for the Toffees this season and is even off the mark for his new Merseyside employers after scoring against Bournemouth in the Premier League.

Speaking to, Martinez admitted that while Everton have missed absent skipper Phil Jagielka, his injury has proven to be a blessing in disguise when it comes to accelerating their South American signing’s adaptation to the English game.

"We can't wait to have our captain back but it is great to see Ramiro enjoying his football, adapting his football to the British game," he said.

"It has been a massive step forward in his career but that is why we made a huge investment.”

And Martinez believes that he has another England international to thank for this, with John Stones singled out for praise following a string of impressive performances at what remains a relatively young age.

"To have John Stones at the level he is showing and the responsibility he has shown for 21 is incredible,” he added.

"When you have a new centre-half appearing in a new league you need guidance and John has helped him and they have developed a strong partnership."

Called up to the Argentina national team for crucial World Cup qualifiers against Colombia and Brazil, Funes Mori was instrumental in ensuring La Albiceleste picked up a clean sheet and win in their 1-0 triumph over Los Cafeteros.

That result also means that, heading into their Premier League clash with Crystal Palace, the 24-year-old has claimed clean sheets in three of his last four games for club and country.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch