Former Everton striker Marcus Bent reckons that Ross Barkley would be welcomed back at Stanley Park with open arms.
It’s been three-and-a-half years since the boyhood Toffees fan left to join Chelsea in a £15m January move.
However, Barkley has never managed to establish himself as first-choice despite playing under three different managers during his time with the Blues.
And following a failed loan stint at Aston Villa last season, the midfielder would appear surplus to requirements at Chelsea despite playing regularly under Thomas Tuchel in pre-season.
Barkley has been linked with several Premier League clubs this summer, but perhaps none are better suited than a return to where it all started for him.
He still has just less than two years left on his Stamford Bridge contract, but Tuchel already has an impressive midfield department that helped Chelsea win the Champions League last season.
With that in mind, Barkley’s future would appear to lie away from west London. But would he receive a frosty reception back on Merseyside?
Bent exclusively told Football FanCast:
“They’d definitely welcome him back with open arms because he’s an Evertonian. He should be in the prime of his career there. Sometimes he can be rash, but at his age, he should have learned his trade.
“But as I said, Everton would welcome him back with open arms.”