Ross Barkley earned the acclaim of Everton manager Ronald Koeman after netting a late leveller in the 2-2 Premier League draw at Hull City.
The attacking midfielder's performances have come under scrutiny this season and Koeman recently conceded the 23-year-old may fail to live up to hype that surrounded him when he was a promising teenager.
But the Dutchman singled Barkley out for praise after his 84th-minute header salvaged a point from an enthralling game at the KCOM Stadium, where Everton twice fell behind.
"Ross Barkley is an important player for the team," Koeman, who saw Dominic Calvert-Lewin miss a glorious chance to win it at the death, told BBC Sport.
"He showed his quality. He had a good performance.
"I'm really pleased about our performance. I wasn't happy with our slow start, but we showed a really good attitude and reaction twice.
"We played good football and created a lot of opportunities. We could have stopped the first goal, but not the second.
"The team showed good spirit. We needed a bit more luck, like Dominic Calvert-Lewin's late header, because that was three points."
Everton had fallen behind to Michael Dawson's early opener, but David Marshall's own goal levelled matters before Barkley's late heroics cancelled out Robert Snodgrass' stunning free-kick.