It’s looking very likely that veteran midfielder Gareth Barry will leave Everton as he seeks to break the Premier League record for games played. Reports in the media have him as undergoing a medical at West Bromwich Albion later today.
A consummate professional who has brought his experience and maturity to the defensive midfield position, Barry had signed an extension in December 2016 that kept him at Everton until the end of this season. There had been some talk that the Blues would offer him a two-year deal to rival that of the Baggies, but over the weekend that was quashed by Ronald Koeman who had dropped the midfielder from the season opening squad.
“He twisted his ankle on Wednesday but he’s only out for a week or more. It’s not a long situation.
“[On his future] it depends. Gareth is a great professional and I’m happy for him to stay but if he wants to move we will see what happens. I don’t know, it’s not really a decision we need to make.”
Ironically enough, it was against West Brom last season when Barry had scored the winner that Koeman had paid him the ultimate compliment -
“He’s still one of the best players that I have managed in my teams because of the cleverness of him in football is really a high quality.”
Barry has been on the fringes looking in since the arrival of Morgan Schneiderlin, but more than once has proven his quality despite the Frenchman’s presence. His composure on the ball and ability to find a pass has bailed Everton out more than once and with European fixtures on the horizon, Barry will be sorely missed at the club.
The transfer amount of £1m is a pittance compared to what the Blues will be losing. Fans will always wish him well and he is certain to receive a rousing ovation when he brings his Baggies to Goodison Park.