The 22-year-old centre-back is on loan with the Gas’ from Everton and Gibson has been a towering presence in Barton’s starting line-up this season.


Gibson has racked up 21 league appearances for Barton’s side and missed a significant number of games due to injury this season.



The Bristol Rovers boss feels that the Everton loanee is a player who has maturity beyond his experience and believes that Gibson would have been playing in the Championship or the Premier League if he had not been dealing with frequent injuries.


Barton stressed that Gibson is a player of enormous talent and added that his qualities are clearly visible when he is fit and playing regularly.



“I am fortunate that I had Gibbo as a 19-year-old when he first came to Fleetwood and he was really mature beyond his years there”, Barton told Bristol Rovers’ media.


“It does feel like he is a lot more experienced than he is because of his level of maturity.



“He is a top class person and obviously, everybody has seen when he is fit what great qualities he has.


“As I say for us, I think the age of him and his career he is just a talent we’d never see at this level had he not had a few problems with his injuries and staying fit.


‘It’s great to help him in terms of getting him a regular run of games because he’s got enormous quality and as I said, if he had not had those problems as a young pro, you would probably be expecting to see him certainly Championship level, if not even further up the pyramid”.


The Everton youngster has missed 13 league games this season and Bristol Rovers have managed to win only one of them.