By Alex McMahon
Ross Barkley has the potential to be England’s next big star
Six months ago, Ross Barkley was linked with a £50 million move to Manchester City. On Saturday, he scored a 25-yard screamer that saved Everton a point against newly-promoted Watford. A lot can change very quickly in football but City’s insistence on chasing Wolfsburg star Kevin de Bruyne rather than Barkley is baffling. Yes, De Bruyne won the Bundesliga Player of the Year last season but he also failed to stand out in the Premier League during his time at Chelsea.
Meanwhile, Barkley has played 63 top flight games in the last two seasons, scoring a number of incredible goals and earning a call-up to England’s World Cup squad at just 20 years old. The Toffees star is a thrilling prospect and will remain on Manchester City’s radar for the time being. While Barkley is contracted to Everton until 2018, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see one of England’s elite clubs come knocking for the midfielder before then. Here are just a few of the reasons why Ross Barkley deserves – and will eventually get – a move to a bigger club in the future.
He is one of the most talented youngsters in the Premier League
Although Barkley struggled in parts of last season, he remains an exceptionally gifted footballer. The Toffees star is capable of producing moments of sheer genius but can be found guilty of trying too hard at times. Like most youngsters, Barkley’s main problem is consistency. If he can focus on improving this, he will be one of the best midfielders in the top flight.
Barkley’s pace and power make him a potent threat going forward. While Yaya Toure is much bigger than Barkley, the Everton midfielder’s destructive runs forward are very similar to that of the Ivorian. For Barkley’s consistency to significantly improve, the 21-year-old would have to play for a top club, alongside top players and under a top manager.
Barkley will help to fill the top flight’s home-grown quota
World class English players are hard to come by in today’s age. While it would be foolish to label Barkley as world class just yet, he has the potential to reach this bracket. The Premier League’s biggest clubs will already like the look of Barkley’s on-field ability but he will become even more appealing to sides that are lacking quality English players.
Barkley’s natural ability will attract the likes of Manchester and Chelsea but Manchester United could be the side who take the biggest interest in the 21-year-old. After two years of heavy spending in the transfer market, the 13-time Premier League champions have started to lose the English identity that played such a key role in winning their top-flight titles. Either way, all of England’s biggest clubs will be interested in Barkley’s signature – there’s no doubt about that.
His hunger and determination to succeed will appeal to England’s top clubs
Focus, drive and resolve. Those are just three of the qualities that are needed to triumph in the Premier League. Ross Barkley has those in abundance. While other players settle for mediocrity, Barkley constantly challenges himself to improve. The Toffees star is certainly not cocky but exudes a confidence that suggests he knows that he is destined for great things.
Barkley’s hunger and determination to win shall certainly appeal to the Premier League’s elite sides. While some players are concerned about winning matches, Barkley is concerned about winning titles. The 21-year-old is hungry to impress every time he steps on the football pitch and, although some may see his valiant efforts as desperate, his focus and drive to achieve victory is clear.
At just 21 years old, Barkley’s best years are ahead of him
Many people forget that the Toffees midfielder is just 21 years old. Barkley is incredibly mature for such a young footballer and the Everton midfielder’s skills will only improve as he nears the prime of his career. The England international is an exceptional talent and it’s scary to imagine just how good he could go on to be.
Despite playing regularly in the top flight in each of the last two seasons, Barkley remains a raw talent. In order to see the 21-year-old at his very best, he must move on to a bigger club. While this would be a tough decision, it would benefit his form for England and he could play a key role in future tournaments, including the 2018 World Cup.
Barkley has shown that he can compete at international level
The Toffees maestro has represented England at every level, from under-16s to the senior squad. At 21 years old, he has already earned 13 caps for his country – an impressive feat. While the majority of Barkley’s appearances have been cameo roles off the bench, the midfielder was selected for England’s 2014 World Cup squad and started in their group stage clash with Costa Rica.
Barkley has shown that he is more than capable of holding his own in the England side. A move to a bigger club would not only help improve his club football but would significantly improve his chances of featuring regularly for the national side. The Everton midfielder will expect to be included in Roy Hodgson’s squad for the European Championships next summer and will hope to make a major impact on the international stage.
Do you think that Ross Barkley deserves a move to a bigger Premier League club? Or is he yet another overrated English footballer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!