Toffees defender pleased with Barry debut.
Everton left-back Leighton Baines is delighted with the debut performance of on-loan midfielder Gareth Barry, and admits he and many others are surprised Manchester City allowed him to leave this season, according to Sky Sports.
Barry put in a strong performance as he made his bow for the Toffees, starring in a hard-fought 1-0 win over Chelsea at Goodison Park, and Baines thinks the 32-year-old will prove a vital asset for the club if he can perform like that throughout the season.
Barry had been a key player for City over the last few years, and was a regular in the title-winning side of 2011/12, though he failed to reach his best form last season and fell out of favour with new manager Manuel Pellegrini as a result, with the Chilean investing £30m on new signing Fernandinho for his side’s midfield this summer.
However, Baines claims that many of Barry’s team-mates at City were surprised to see him go, as he was still valued by many as an important part of the squad at the Etihad Stadium.
“I’ve known Gareth through the England set-up and I’ve always rated him really highly,” he said.
“The City lads on the last international break were saying that they can’t believe that they haven’t kept him and he doesn’t play for them. That says enough about his worth for any team he plays in.
“Everyone rates him who he plays with and he has come in and shown what a great asset he is going to be for us. We’ve seen straight away what he can give to the team.
“I’m sure Gaz will tell you that he has not played as much as he would have liked and he has already produced a performance like that.
“If he plays like that most weeks, he is going to add to the team.”
Barry joined Everton on transfer deadline day, signing along with fellow loanee Romelu Lukaku and £13m midfielder James McCarthy, who arrived from Wigan.