Mikel Arteta praises Everton youngster Ross Barkley

Ross Barkley
Barkley has started both Everton's games this season

Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta says he has been impressed with the impact Ross Barkley has had at Goodison Park.

The 17-year-old made his Blues debut in the 1-0 defeat by QPR on Saturday and starred in Wednesday's 3-1 Carling Cup win over Sheffield United.

Arteta told BBC Radio Merseyside: "I think he can be really good. He's got something about him.

"We don't want to put too much pressure on him, but we know he can really help us at the moment."

Arteta added: "He's brave to take the ball in good areas and creates something, so it's pleasing for him. But the pressure is on us [the experienced players]."

Everton travel to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday in search of their first league win, but the former Rangers midfielder knows what lies ahead when his team arrive at Ewood Park.

"It's always a tough place to go and I think physically they're a very strong team," said Arteta. "They bring trouble from set-peices and throw-ins.

"Defensively we have to be really strong to get a clean sheet and make sure we have got a chance. We must not give the ball away and not give cheap throw-ins away - we need to keep the ball on the pitch."