Jack Rodwell’s move to Manchester City raised a few eyebrows up and down the country last week. Rodwell was regarded as Everton’s next big star, but has swapped dark blue for sky blue in exchange for £12million, and faces a battle to earn a place in the Champions star-studded lineup.
But whilst one homegrown player closes the door on Goodison Park, it could be about to open for another. 18-year-old midfielder Ross Barkley will be hoping to vill the void left by Rodwell and the New-York-bound Tim Cahill, although it is thought David Moyes is willing to send the youngster out on loan, with Sheffield Wednesday being touted as his most likely destination.
Moyes said: “I’m thinking about getting him some Championship experience maybe in the coming month or two.
‘I can’t do it right now until the squad is strong enough. I want him to go out and play. It seems right.”
Barkley is a product of the Everton youth academy, and has been touted as the most promising player to emerge since Wayne Rooney in 2003. He was a key part of the side that won the Premier Academy League in 2011, and has also represented England at under-19 level alongside Everton academy teammates Jake Bidwell, Luke Garbutt and John Lundstram, as well as featuring for England at under-21 level.
Quick, skilful, strong and with an eye for goal, Barkley’s performances have drawn rave reviews and reportedly attracted interest from a number of top Premier League clubs.
Barkley suffered a double leg break in 2010, which somewhat curtailed his development. Now back to full fitness, the Wavertree-born-midfielder has spent the summer impressing for England in the European Under-19 Championships in Estonia, putting in a man of the match performance against Greece.
It begs the question as to whether Moyes needs to dip into the transfer market when Barkley is available for selection, or whether he feels the chance to play regularly at a lower level, will have a bigger long term benefit for Everton.
The youngster started Everton’s first game of last season against QPR, and has impressed in small cameos since. Able to play in central midfield or just behind the striker, Barkley could play a big part for Everton this season after Moyes has already said his squad is thin, and could fill either role left by Rodwell or Cahill.
With ten days of the transfer window remaining, if the Everton boss finds himself struggling to pull of the deals he is hoping, he could do a lot worse than turn to this gifted 18-year-old.