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Barkley due back at Everton; Benteke cleared of all charges

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley is set to return to Goodison Park following the completion of his loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday, Sky Sports understands.

Barkley, 18, spent two months at Hillsborough after his initial one-month loan deal was extended for another four weeks.

The England Under-21 international leaves the Owls with 13 appearances, 12 starts, and four goals to his name.

Barkley is returning to the Toffees at a time characterized by injury-crisis for David Moyes’ side.

In all likelihood, Phil Neville is set to miss two months following a knee operation, while Belgian sensation Kevin Mirallas and Nigeria striker Victor Anichebe are currently sidelined him hamstring injuries. To make matters even worse, reliable defender Tony Hibbert is out with a calf problem.

However, Darron Gibson is close to returning, having missed the club’s last 10 matches, and Barkley is due back any day now.

Gibson, formerly of Manchester United, played for the Under-21s on Sunday, and did not suffer any setbacks.

“He’s come through the game unscathed so that’s a plus point and it’s good for him that he’s come through it and it’s a step in the right direction for his recovery,” coach Alan Stubbs told the club’s website.

“It’s important give or take Phil’s news.

“It was important to get Darron back and give the manager another selection dilemma.

“It makes it more important now that Phil has had the operation but it’s just good to get Darron back playing again.”

I think it’s safe to assume that Alan Stubbs fancies the word ‘important.’

Benteke cleared of all charges

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has been acquitted of all charges, regarding an alleged robbery and assault in connection with a brutal car-jacking incident in Liege last November, by a court in Belgium.

“Christian and his legal team have co-operated with the investigation and witnesses confirmed he took no part in the matters alleged,” read an official club statement.

The Belgium international completed a £7 million move from Genk to Aston Villa in the summer transfer window.

Since joining Villa, Benteke has been on scintillating form for both club and country. The in-form 21-year-old striker has bagged eight goals and three assists in 17 appearances, 15 starts, for club, Aston Villa, and country, Belgium, including two goals and two assists in nine appearance in the English Premier League.

Aston Villa are scheduled to host Premier League giants Arsenal, who are fresh off a 5-2 comeback victory in the North London derby, at Villa Park on Saturday, 24 November, with Benteke expected to lead the line.

Mon 19 November, 2012
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