The transfer window has officially opened, and despite the ‘top clubs’ such as Chelsea and Manchester United investing millions of money into the transfer market and making deals already, clubs like Everton are still taking there time and are waiting for the right time to make a purchase. One player has been talked about a lot in the Everton crowd, and that is Gareth Barry. Barry has already had his Goodison experience, having a season-long loan deal from Manchester City last season, but he is now a free agent and has been strongly linked with Everton this season. Would he work wonders like last season? Is Roberto Martinez willing to give Gareth Barry a permanent deal?
Who Is Gareth Barry?
For most Evertonians, you don’t need an introduction for Gareth Barry. Barry is a 33-year-old central defensive midfielder, who is currently a free agent. Barry started his career at Brighton but joined Aston Villa where he spent most of his career. Gareth played 365 league games for Villa before joining Manchester City back in 2009, signing a five-year contract for a fee of £12 million. Gareth picked up a FA Cup medal and a Premier League medal whilst at City, before joining The Toffees on loan.
What Does He Provide?
Gareth Barry is without doubt one of the best passing midfielders in the league, managing to hit a 87% passing accuracy last season – only Seamus Coleman and John Stones had more than the midfielder. Just watch the clip from Norwich City at home last season. His passing is quality, not just from attacking positions but from deep, and a long searching ball upfield into the Everton striker . He also covers a lot of space, and has helped Leighton Baines a lot by covering the left-back spot whilst Baines was pushing forward and attacking. Barry also wins possession when the opposition are attacking.
The 33-year-old attempted a incredible 2,178 passes last season, only Yaya Toure and Steven Gerrard attempted more thanGareth Barry in the 2013/14 season.
The midfielder also made 1,360 attacking half passes during the season, which is better than the likes of Steven Gerrard and Mikel Arteta, who’s passing stats are some of the best in Europe. Only Santiago Cazorla, Samir Nasri, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Mesut Ozil completed more.
Barry has not just been a influence at the back, but in attack is well for Everton. Gareth made 650 forward total passes in the Premier League last season, which is the best in the Everton team and the highest out of any player that didn’t end in the top 4 in the league standings.
A concern? For me, yes. Gareth Barry can go in for a tackle and has put Everton at risk with his tackling and yellow cards. Barry conceded 50 fouls last season, which is maybe low down the table, but is very high for a disciplined side such as Everton.
His yellow cards are also a problem. Gareth Barry picked up 10 yellow cards last season, only Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta had more than Barry with 11 yellow cards. One game where Gareth Barry missed out was Southampton at home. Despite beating the Saints 2-1, Everton badly missed the midfielder during the match.
Supporting The Full-Backs
The Toffees have been mainly recognised for there full-backs (Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman) and their attacking work rate, as well as their defensive work rate.
You’re thinking, what does this have to do with Gareth Barry? Well, he has a very important role when the full-backs push forward.
When Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines push up, they don’t push up individually, they push up together at the same time. This is important for Everton as it supports whoever is on the wings in attack. There is one disadvantage to this, what about the space at the back…?
… it’s covered by James McCarthy and Gareth Barry. The space behind the full-backs can be exposed from the opposition and it’s vital that the two defensive midfielders get back and help defend for Everton.
We still have another 2 months until to the transfer window slams shut, and with pre-season still to come Everton can focus on what the problems are during the friendlies. Everton cannot forget Darron Gibson, as his work in the 2012/13 season was so important for the Blues, but a season out injured is a long time and he hasn’t played a game since September time. It’s also important that Everton have the squad depth to survive in Europa League next season. So, yes, Roberto Martinez should go out and sign Gareth Barry.