Everton manager Roberto Martinez claims that Ross Barkley has the talent to be as successful as Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

Barkley was sent on loan to Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United during last season as he started just four League games in two years under David Moyes but since Martinez's appointment he has become an instrumental player for the Toffees, starting 16 Premier League games.

The Everton starlet has attracted comparisons to Michael Ballack and Paul Gascoigne during this season and asking about his future in Spanish Radio Station Cadena Ser Martinez said: "Bakley is the best talent I have ever worked with. At just 20 years is a reference for English football and he is called to mark an epoch as Gerrard and Lampard has done."

"He has a great ability and an amazing touch. It is very difficult to find in England such a talent because he also has the physic you need to be a footballer," The Everton boss added.

Barkley has already scored two goals this season and has lead the team to within just one point of the Champions League spot after an impressive first part of the season.

His amazing performances has also caught the eye of some big European club and reports claim last month that Manchester United were plotting a £50m bid to secure his services in January.

The 20-year-old midfielder has already earned three England caps from Roy Hodgson and is set to make the summer trip to Brazil to play in the World Cup.

He has two and a half years remaining on his Everton contract and the club are reportedly set to offer him a new long-term deal before the end of the season.