At the time of his signing, Barkley hadn’t played for seven months due to a hamstring injury and his contract was due to expire the following summer, so to receive £15m for him was definitely a good fee for the attacking midfielder.
While fans were disappointed at the nature of his departure, considering a £35m fee had been mooted not too long before, Everton could have easily lost him for nothing as foreign clubs were free to approach him at that time.
Unfortunately for Chelsea, his time at Stamford Bridge was less than successful and his contract at the club was cancelled by mutual consent last week, with the former England international completing a free transfer to OGC Nice.
During his time with the Blues, Barkley made just 100 appearances, in which he contributed 12 goals and 11 assists, while he also endured a disappointing loan spell with Aston Villa, hitting only three goals in 24 appearances.
He faced a lot of backlash for his performances at Villa Park, with the Athletic’s Gregg Evans not holding back in his criticism of the 28-year-old on the 1874 podcast last year.
He said: “He doesn’t do enough for me now. I’ve seen enough of Ross Barkley now to realise that he’s becoming a bit of a liability for Villa.
“He’s not helping out enough as he should, really.”
Although Barkley seemed a top prospect during his time at Goodison Park, contributing 27 goals and 28 assists in 179 appearances and becoming an England regular, he has seriously declined since his exit.
Indeed, he has gone from ‘the next Rooney‘ and a young individual that Tim Cahill said was the most talented he’s ever worked with, to a player now struggling for confidence, form and as the summer showed, a new home.
Therefore, considering his injury and contract issues at the time, as well as his performances since, it could definitely be classed as a masterclass by Everton to sell Barkley for £15m.