Leighton Baines, Gareth Barry and Mason Holgate have signed new contracts with Everton.
Boss Ronald Koeman was keen to get Barry and Baines, two of his ‘leaders on the dressing room and the pitch’, signed up and secure the future of one of the club’s best defensive prospects.
Barry, who has played more than 600 Premier League games, has signed an extension to the end of next season, while Baines’ new deal runs out in 2019 and Holgate is committed to Everton until the summer of 2021.
“He is a key player for the team. Of course, sometimes you need to protect older players, with all due respect. Gareth is 35 but he is still so important for the team and I’m very happy he has extended his contract.”
Barry added: “The new manager has come in and given me a new lease of life. It’s someone else to try and impress and new tactics to take on board. It’s really helped my game and I’m looking forward to taking that on and enjoying this season, which is hopefully a successful one.”
Baines, 32, is in his 10th season at Goodison Park and just passed the 350 appearance mark for the club, with Koeman adding: “With Leighton, his attitude is always perfect.
“He likes to work hard, he likes to learn, he is a technical player with a good view of the game and I’m really happy to have him in the team this season and also for the longer term.”
Baines said: “The majority of my career I’ve spent here at Everton and it’s something that I hope will continue even beyond these next few years. I hope I’m always affiliated with Everton. It’s a huge honour for me to play for the club for as long as I have and I’m very proud to have been here for as long as I have been.
“I’m very lucky as well. You work hard, you look after yourself and you always try to do the right things and the reward for me has been to spend such a long time at such a great club.”