Roberto´s young generation players are set to be rewarded for their impressive performances with improved contracts.

Earlier this week Roberto Martinez delivered a glowing tribute to midfielder James McCarthy by mentioning him in the same sentence as Everton legends Alan Ball, Colin Harvey and Howard Kendall.

The Scotsman has slotted effortlessly into the heart of our midfield since his summer move from Wigan last September.
And with the impact he has made, Martinez believes he would already make the most admired midfield trio in the club’s history proud.

The influence of Ball, Harvey and Kendall at Goodison between 1967 and 1971 saw them christened the Holy Trinity by the Everton faithful. Captain Brian Labone used to joke that Everton were the only three-man team ever to win the league championship.

Studying Everton’s history is something Roberto Martinez has studied since he took over as manager last summer and believes McCarthy can bear comparison with the greats even after only 27 starts for Everton.

“I think James knows exactly the way I like that midfield role to be played, but he also fits in so well to the Everton culture,” Martinez said.

“You always talk about the midfield Trinity at Everton and I think Ball, Harvey and Kendall would be extremely proud of James McCarthy.

“He’s a very important player for us. He has been enjoying his football and has been performing very well and I think he has developed a great relationship with Gareth Barry – it’s always important to have those relationships.”

And it seems, going by the newspaper reports today that Roberto Martinez is going to make sure that James McCarthy will be at Everton for many years to come.

The club are planning to hand the Scot a new contract at the end of the season as part of Martinez’s proposal to reward his young generation of players.

Despite only arriving at Goodison in September on a long-term deal, the manager is keen to improve his terms.

And he’s not the only one Roberto wants improved contracts for, the boss also plans on sorting out new deals for Seamus Coleman, Ross Barkley and John Stones after their impressive performances this season.

“We are already thinking about Ross, John Stones, and Seamus,” said Martinez.

“I call it the young generation coming through. We want to reward them, even James McCarthy. That is something we will look at this summer. They are players with long-term contracts.

“It is not a decision just to keep them at the club; it just highlights the next step of their development and rewards them for their performances.

“Seamus has got a long-term contract. James has got the same. But we want to reward them.”

Usually in situations like McCarthy’s – having only joined us in a £13m transfer on deadline day, a new deal would not be put on the table for some time.

However, as Martinez explains – and I’m sure many fans would agree that the 23-year-old has certainly exceeded expectations even if some (myself included) were perhaps a little sceptical about the former Wigan man and the high fee paid for him. So the club feels it is right to reward him.

“The way we work, there is a structure in the salaries and everything goes down to your role at the club,” said Martinez, who looks on course to top off his first 12 months in charge at Goodison Park by leading Everton back into Europe .

“James has now gone past the role that he was expected to have. I think that he has become an important member of the squad and that needs to be rewarded in his salary.

“We just want to make sure that we grow together and we need players like Seamus and James.

“We hope that he will feel excited about developing with the football club and I think with the young players we have got in the club – Seamus, Ross, James McCarthy – they are footballers I believe to be of the highest, highest level. We need to grow together.”

After today´s rumours about Seamus Coleman being in “advanced” talks over a move to Manchester United, a new and improved contract might stop the constant paper talk about Everton players leaving to join supposedly ´better´ clubs!Although I´m certain Seamus is more than happy here and would have no intentions to leave.

About The Author

Becki Cookson

LJMU Journalism graduate & aspiring sports journalist Writer for GrandOldTeam