Ronald Koeman’s handling of the Ross Barkley situation has been perfect, as no one player is bigger than the club and his determination to leave has made him expendable.
Barkley remains a Goodison Park player for now but with Tottenham sniffing around, Chelsea have surprisingly emerged as a potential destination for the 23-year-old midfielder.
The Everton youth product was one of Europe’s most highly coveted youngsters in 2014 and decided to stay with the Toffees, but he is now guaranteed to leave with just one year remaining on his contract.
Although the Chelsea interest is genuinely shocking and likely derived from a growing need to meet the home-grown Champions League quota, the Englishman is still very talented and would be a boost to any elite side, but he isn’t a likely starter for any of the Premier League’s top six.
The midfielder, who scored six goals and assisted nine more last season, has been capped by England 22 times and burst onto the scene in the 2013-14 season for the Toffees, who finished fifth that season.
Big things were expected of Barkley after his debut season, but he struggled to elevate both his game and the club’s in the three ensuing seasons. And that’s why Everton are right to wash their hands of him, despite his obvious talent.
The most interesting thing of Barkley’s situation is that no clubs have had anything more than vague interest in the midfielder. The thought that there would be no real bids if Everton decided to sell Barkley was laughable three years ago.
A very talented player, and especially an English one, goes for a pretty penny these days and doesn’t come around very often, but Barkley for some reason isn’t desirable.
He likely believes that he is talented enough to play for a club bigger than Everton, but it is extremely unlikely that he would be able to start for one of England’s top six clubs and that is what the 23-year old needs to do at this point in his career.
Perhaps he should look abroad for a chance to live up to his talent and truly thrive as an attacking midfielder.