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17th Oct, 2016 | 12:09pm

Koeman identifies individual who is key to Everton team

By Emma Sanders

Ronald Koeman has spoken of the importance of Gareth Barry’s influence on the team during their 1-1 draw against Manchester City.

The former England international is considered a valuable member of the Everton team and has made eight appearances this season.

Everton’s manager, Koeman was keen to highlight Barry’s effectiveness as a deep-lying midfielder who gives added protection for the back four.

“All the defenders, Barry in front of them and Idrissa Gueye defensively was very strong,” Koeman told the Liverpool Echo.

“Of course you need your four defenders but you also need Barry in front of them. Everybody had that work-rate because that was key to getting the point.”

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Everton’s Romelu Lukaku opened the scoring after 64 minutes when his strike gave the Blues a well-earned lead.

Sergio Aguero mounted a comeback for the hosts but Maareten Stekelenburg produced heroics when he saved two penalties in the second half.

Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne were both denied by the Dutch keeper, who had been victim to heavy criticism after he made a mistake during his country’s defeat against France last week.

Alongside Stekelenburg and Lukaku, Everton’s defence were hailed for their efforts as they were able to cling onto a 1-1 draw.

Barry’s influence in midfield has proven to be a vital component of Everton’s defensive play so far this season.

In the latest Everton news, Lukaku reveals what the team discussed at half-time in the clash against City.