Sunderland manager David Moyes has backed Everton midfielder Ross Barkley to recover from the dip in form that led to him being omitted from the England squad.
Barkley did not feature at all at the European Championship, and new manager Sam Allardyce picked the likes of West Ham’s Michail Antonio and Danny Drinkwater ahead of the 22-year-old in his squad for September’s World Cup qualifier against Slovakia.
But Moyes, who introduced Barkley into the Everton team in August 2011, believes the Liverpool-born playmaker is still improving.
“Ross is a really talented player,” Moyes told the Mirror. “We gave him his debut. We gave Wayne Rooney his debut at 16 and Jack Rodwell his debut at 16. We gave a lot of boys their debuts at Everton.
“In Spain, they don’t give boys their debuts so young. Maybe we’re a bit anxious here – I was hearing a lot about [18-year-old Manchester United striker] Marcus Rashford getting into the England team. But I think they’re right to just keep them going.
“Ross had a couple of spells on loan and had to go away and come back, but he’s matured into a really good player.”
Barkley will be aiming to take three points from his former manager when Everton travel to Sunderland in the Premier League on Monday evening, and Moyes said he expects Barkley to be back in the England squad before long.
“Ross will play for England many more times and I think he will develop as well because there’s another stage of his career to go when he becomes one of the senior players,” said Moyes.
“At the moment, he’s really still one of the boys who are progressing and he’s finding his way.”