By 90Min
September 24, 2017

West Bromwich Albion midfielder Gareth Barry is set to break Ryan Giggs' record of all-time Premier League appearances on Monday night if he takes the field during the top-tier clash with Arsenal, but the 36-year-old has insisted he can continue playing until he is 40. 

The defensive-minded ball winner will grab his 633rd top-flight showing at the Emirates Stadium if Baggies boss Tony Pulls sees fit, overcoming the current highest of 622 in the Premier League, even though the Welsh wizard actually recorded 672 top-flight appearances for Manchester United. 

The 53-times capped England international joined the Midlands club from Everton over the summer on an initial one-year deal, however has the possibility to extend that if he feels he can continue performing at the top level, potentially even into his fourth decade. 

"It's definitely a possibility", Barry told Sky Sports when asked if he had a few more years in him. 

"I was 32 when I signed for Everton and (the manager) Roberto Martinez said, 'You're style of game - you can play until you're 40'."

"I'm sitting there laughing at him, but he was deadly serious, and I still laughed. It's still going to be tough, but for a manager to tell me that four to five years ago is a good compliment, which was nice to hear.

"I'm immensely proud to get there. Whether it will stay around for long I don't know."

Barry started his top-flight career at just 17-years-old, replacing Ian Taylor as a second-half substitute during Aston Villa's 3-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough. 

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The 36-year-old went onto make 365 senior showings for the Villans before his £12.5m move to Manchester City in 2009, where he appeared 132 times and lifted the Premier League trophy in 2012. 

Following his spell at the Etihad Stadium, the Englishman swapped Manchester for Liverpool, and featured on 131 occasions for Everton before joining the Albion in August of this year. 

However, Barry knows that youngsters in today's game may not have the opportunity to replicate his achievement due to the modern style of football. 

"It's certainly harder for younger players breaking through now like I did", the Hastings-born midfielder added. 

"There's a lot more rotation in terms of selections now. So it may be tough to beat and the longer I can go it will be tougher as well. More so for my kids, I'd be proud for them to see their dad up there.

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"You can speak about the money, they will be getting more at a younger age and there are a lot of dangers with that if you're not being advised properly. For a young player it's important to have people around you other than yourself. You're immature as an 18 or 19-year-old.

"I would have made big mistakes then as a young player and done things I would have learned from and I'm sure young players will now. It's important to have the right people around them and for players like myself, the older players, to advise them."

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