Gareth Barry has been one of the key figures in Manchester City's ascent to the top of the Premier League this season, according to Joleon Lescott.
The England international is an unsung hero for the Blues with his committed and composed performances.
Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure and David Silva have filled numerous column inches this year with their eye-catching play.
Lescott, however, admits Barry is just as valuable to City's success as some of their household names.
"Gareth has been immense for club and country," he said.
"He is one of those players you don't really appreciate until he's not there. He is just so consistent.
"You can't sing his praises enough. If you ask any of our midfielders who they most want to play with, their preference would be Gareth Barry."
At the start of the season there had been fears Barry would lose his place in the team.
But it has been Dutchman Nigel de Jong that has been the one omitted from the team as Barry has blossomed at the heart of the Blues engine room.
"He hasn't changed anything," Lescott added.
"He believes in himself and just carried on with his own consistent performances.
"You need people like Gareth to balance defence and attack."