Ross Barkley is “the best in the business” if given the freedom to go forward and lead counter-attacks, Everton manager Roberto Martinez has told his England counterpart Roy Hodgson.
The 21-year-old has been included in England’s squad for their friendly matches against Spain and France as they continue preparations for Euro 2016.
Barkley, capped 17 times, has scored twice in his last four England appearances and Martinez has urged Hodgson to use him correctly, branding his player a top talent when his strengths are properly deployed.
“People will look at what he does defensively but what I look at is what Ross can do offensively against these sorts of teams,” said the Everton boss.
“Because these teams when they lose the ball, there is space, but you need pace and power to break into that space. Ross gives you that.
“Those four seconds as soon as you win the ball, who can affect the game then in transition? He is the best in the business.
“If England don’t want to play like that, if they just want to wait and get set and have the ball, then Ross is not special. It depends on what England want from Ross really.
“We have got to that point where Ross Barkley knows how special he is and what he does. With England, depending on how they want to use him, he will be influential or not.”
Barkley has enjoyed a good start to the season for Everton, playing in all 12 of their Premier League matches and scoring three goals.