Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes midfielder Ross Barkley showed the character to become a club great for the Toffees, despite the youngster missing a penalty in the 1-0 English Premier League victory over Burnley.
After winger Aaron Lennon had been fouled by the Clarets’ David Jones early on at Goodison Park on Saturday, Barkley stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick, despite the home side’s set-piece specialist Leighton Baines being in the starting line-up.
Barkley’s effort was comfortably saved by the visitors’ goalkeeper Tom Heaton, although Kevin Mirallas did give Everton the lead after 17 minutes, which proved to be the only and winning goal of the game.
Martinez, who added the striker Romelu Lukaku – who was on the substitutes’ bench at that time – is Everton’s current first-choice penalty taker, claimed that Barkley’s performance after the saved penalty showed what a quality player he will go on to become.
“Ross showed responsibility and felt good in taking it and Leighton [Baines] was happy for him to do so,” said the Spanish boss.
“Heaton deserves credit for the save, but I love seeing players taking control of the big moments and showing that character – even though Ross missed, he proved he’s a top player.
“It shows the potential that Ross has and he showed me that he’s an incredible footballer with a high level of maturity that’s going to become an Everton great.”