Ross Barkley is a fantastic footballer.
The home-grown Everton midfielder has all the attributes to be one of Europe’s finest players in the centre of the pitch. He burst on to the scene in the 2013/14 season with his power, energy and ability to shoot with either foot, and has been compared to the likes of Paul Gascoigne already.
A slot in the England squad for this summer’s European Championships in France looks nailed on, so you’d think his career his progressing rather nicely. There’s no doubt he’s doing well, but the question is can he really achieve what many think he’s capable of at Everton?
There are signs his career is beginning to stall and with this in mind FootballFanCast gives you FIVE reasons it’s time for Barkley to move on…
Whether Roberto Martinez even stays at the club past this summer remains to be seen, but if he does it’s unlikely Barkley is going to learn much more under his tutelage.
The Spanish manager only seems to have one way of attacking and Barkley needs more than a ‘Plan A’ to develop his game. Meanwhile defensively we’ve all seen Everton’s struggles, and if Martinez can’t help his defenders with this side of the game he’s certainly not going to help the young Liverpudlian to become more responsible in his own half of the pitch.
If Barkley wants to be the complete midfielder he can be, he needs defensive coaching and this won’t happen at Everton with Martinez.
Barkley will more than likely travel with England to EURO 2016. He has 21 appearances and two goals to his name already for his national team, but the question is will he start?
Barkley has competition in his position from Dele Alli, Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson and perhaps Jack Wilshere. Based on ability alone, Barkley is the best of the bunch, along with Alli, and this should therefore assure him of his place, but given he’s playing for Everton and not Arsenal or Tottenham for example this season there’s still question marks, wrongly, over whether he should make the first XI.
Barkley is ready to play at the highest level, he’s shown it for England already that he’s capable of performing on the biggest stage.
For his career to reach the next stage, however, he needs to be playing regular European club football. This won’t be something Everton can offer at least next season, and who’s to say they will the season after that? There’s a lot of clubs ahead of the Toffees in terms of competition for European places. Suddenly, they’ve dropped behind West Ham, Southampton, Stoke and of course Leicester in the pecking order.
While the Toffees have had a very poor season, Barkley has, by all accounts, had a relatively good campaign.
He has scored more goals and provided more assists, eight in both, than at any other time in his fledgling career. This is even more impressive when you consider the problems his team have faced, and it gives the clear indication that Everton are currently holding him back from what he could achieve.
Make no mistake Everton have good players and should be higher in the league than they are currently.
But how many of them are world-class? Barkley really could put himself in that bracket if he’s surrounded by some of the planet’s finest talents, but that’s not going to happen any time soon at Goodison Park. Even some of the best players in the world improve when they join better teams, Luis Suarez at Barcelona has somehow gone up another level since leaving Liverpool. If Barkley, at his young age, were to join a side with some genuine world-class players, his quality would skyrocket.