By Emma Sanders
Football Insider names the Everton Player of the Year as 2016 draws to a close.
Gareth Barry has been the Blues’ best player throughout 2016 and the 35-year-old has rolled back the years in midfield.
He was voted the club’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year following a hugely impressive 2015-16 season and he has carried that form into the new campaign.
So far this season, he has played in 14 of Everton’s opening 16 fixtures and started each one of them. He has already played 1196 minutes of Premier League action.
Barry has been the anchorman in midfield, in a deep holding role, and has formed a terrific partnership with Idrissa Gueye so far this season.
Not only has he provided leadership, experience and composure in midfield this season, he has also added two goals and an assist to his arsenal.
The 35-year-old started 32 Premier League games for Everton last season and he’s matched that total for appearances throughout 2016, demonstrating his importance in the side.
Since joining Everton on a loan spell in 2013, he has been hugely impressive and the fact the Toffees were able to secure his services on a free in 2014 was even better.
Romelu Lukaku will get all the plaudits for his attacking prowess but Barry’s consistency in midfield allows Everton’s attacking players to shine and the veteran continues to be one of Ronald Koeman’s key players.
His contract is due to run out next summer so it is crucial that Koeman gives him an extension because there will be plenty of suitors after him in January and at the end of the season.
In other Everton news, this is the combined XI of Liverpool and Everton Premier League stars.