Former Everton manager Howard Kendall believes Sylvain Distin is a key part of the Toffees' defence now and has proved a more than an adequate replacement for Joleon Lescott.
The former Portsmouth centre-back was brought in after Lescott's protracted transfer to Manchester City just over a year ago.
Signed for just a fraction of the £22million which saw his predecessor move to Eastlands, the 32-year-old is now an integral part of David Moyes` team according to Kendall.
"Distin in particular is going strong for me - he's been a great buy," he told the Liverpool Echo.
"When you think he replaced Joleon Lescott, the Blues don't really miss him.
"Yes, they miss his goals, but otherwise, thanks to Leighton Baines, Phil Jagielka and Distin, they have not suffered defensively."