After successfully linking up last season James McCarthy says re-establishing his partnership with Gareth Barry this season will help him become a better player.
He linked up effectively with Barry during the 33-year-old’s loan spell with the Toffees last term and McCarthy was delighted to see his return to Goodison Park on a permanent deal earlier this summer.
Knowing how much he learned from the former Manchester City star, the Republic of Ireland international is excited about the upcoming campaign.
“It’s brilliant to have Gareth back,” said McCarthy in an exclusive interview with evertontv. “Obviously we played a lot together last season and I really enjoyed it.
“He’s an experienced head and he gives you so much. He helped me kick on last season and now he’s back here full-time, which is brilliant for the Club and also each and every one of us.
“He was always there for me last season. If I got caught out of position he would cover for me and vice versa, I would try to cover him. But he’d always be talking – on and off the pitch – and it’s brilliant to have such an experienced head alongside you.”
The arrival of Bosnia and Herzegovina international Muhamed Besic last week sees Roberto Martinez with plenty of options in defensive midfield something McCarthy feels will be vital as Everton look to fight on four fronts with the addition of Europa League fixtures.
Darron Gibson is also returning after missing the majority of last season with a knee injury which will also add to the competition for the starting eleven.
McCarthy added: “Obviously we’ve got real competition in there.
“Gareth’s won a Premier League title and he’s a great asset to have here and it shows the Club is going in the right direction.
“We’ve also got Gibbo coming back in and Muhamed Besic too. It’s looking really good with so many games coming up this season.”