Roberto Martinez hails Everton defender, says his international involvement will only benefit club

The Toffees manager says Ramiro Funes Mori's breakthrough with Argentina will only see him improve at club level.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has told the club's official website that they will reap the reward of Ramiro Funes Mori's increasing involvement with the Argentina senior squad.

The 25-year-old centre-back was a hugely important a popular figure with Buenos Aires club River Plate before movign to Goodison Park for around £9.5 million at the end of the summer transfer window.

Since his arrival, Funes Mori has already become a key figure at the heart of the Toffees' defence, scoring four goals in 33 appearances in all competitions and keeping John Stones out of the starting XI.

The defender has made five appearances for Argentina in the last 12 months since winning his debut senior cap in March, and has again been called up to Gerardo Martino's squad for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Chile and Bolivia this week.

Martinez has hailed the quality that Funes Mori has shown in the seven months since his arrival on Merseyside and says that continued involvement with the Argentina squad will only see him improve further.

The Spaniard told Everton's official website: "We said when he signed that Ramiro was a young man, but I thought we picked him up at a very, very good moment. He’d recently won his first cap for Argentina, a nation that is very difficult to break into and play for.

"He turned 25 earlier this month and to already have the reputation he has back home and to play a big role for Argentina can only benefit his development. As a result of him playing, we will benefit from having a player with more experiences and different experiences to ones other members of the squad have.”

"I think he is an age where he has a really good opportunity to keep that place [for Argentina]. It’s true that the time he has had with us in the Premier League has given him an opportunity to grow and become a stronger player and a player that can better cope with the demands of playing for the national team."

Despite his pleasure at seeing Funes Mori rewarded for his good form with another Argentina call-up, Martinez admitted earlier this week that he could do without the international break as he looks to help his side recover from losing their momentum.

Everton lost 2-0 at home to Arsenal last weekend to end a run of six wins from the previous seven matches in all competitions and leave them stuck in 12th position in the Premier League table.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch