Romelu Lukaku: 'Ross Barkley is perfect partner'

Lukaku: 'Barkley is perfect partner'
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Everton striker Romelu Lukaku believes that teammate Ross Barkley will become a key player for both club and country.

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has backed teammate Ross Barkley to become a star for both club and country.

The England international returned to action against Aston Villa on Saturday after missing the opening seven games of the Premier League season with a knee ligament injury.

Barkley assisted Lukaku's goal in the 3-0 win at Goodison Park, and the Belgian is delighted to be playing alongside the 20-year-old midfielder again.

"He is like a friend and brother to me off the pitch," Lukaku told Everton's official website. "I am very happy that he is back on it because he brings something that the whole team needs.

"He has that rawness, that skill, that power. He is a perfect partner for me to play up front with and I am very happy that he is back.

"There are loads of players who can help me, but he has something that none of us have. I can't explain it. He is the best player in our team. He will be somebody that the England team will rely on."

Everton travel to Lille in the Europa League on Thursday.

Everton's Ross Barkley celebrates after scoring the opening goal against QPR during their FA Cup third round match on January 4, 2013
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