Roberto Martinez has labelled Ross Barkley the 'diamond of English football' after the youngster who has been targeted by Manchester United and Chelsea scored to help his side to a 3-2 win over Newcastle United.
Barkley is believed to be a target for both United and Chelsea in the lead-up to the winter transfer window though both clubs will be aware of how difficult Everton will make it for them to purchase the young star, with Martinez having played hard ball over both Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines in the summer.
And as he scored against the Toon to help put Everton in fourth place in the table, starring alongside on-loan striker Romelu Lukaku, it would appear that his stock could rise even higher than his £20m valuation.
Martinez has described Barkley as one of the most important players for the future of English football, telling BBC Sport: "Ross is a diamond of English football, but he still has a long way to go.
"Barkley is the sort of player who controls things in midfield, and that is unusual in a player his age. I think he is an exceptional ambassador, not only for Everton but English football as a whole.
"It is almost a question of keeping him away from the training ground because he is so eager to improve himself."
United are believed to be hopeful that they can take advantage of David Moyes' knowledge of Everton once more and purchase Barkley in January, but with Chelsea also looking to rebuild both sides will have to work hard to convince the young star that he belongs at their club.
With the World Cup next summer it would appear that game time will come into the equation if Barkley is to consider a move after the 20 year old received his first appearance for the senior England side as a substitute against Moldova last month.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail: