A few seasons ago, Everton had an exciting young team, with the likes of John Stones, Ross Barkley, Gerard Deulofeu and Romelu Lukaku all starring for the Toffees. All four have now left the Merseyside club, but the most painful one has to be Barkley.
The attacking midfielder’s exit to Chelsea for £15million in the January transfer window cost Everton dearly after the player refused to make a reported £40million move to Stamford Bridge on deadline day in September.
By the time Barkley left the Merseyside club, the majority Evertonian’s were not too bothered by his exit. He had burnt his bridges at the club he once supported. Most observers could see the move to Chelsea would be a disaster, all but the player himself.
Could have been a hero at Everton
Ross Barkley grew up as an Evertonian and attended games as a youngster he graduated through the Toffees highly-rated youth system to become one of the country’s brightest young prospects.
Evertonian’s were willing for Barkley to do well, as he was one of them. The midfielder was their representative on the pitch. He was fulfilling a lot of people’s dream of pulling on the royal blue shirt.
Everton fans got on his back at times because quite simply he made some really poor decisions on the pitch. Well as his move to Chelsea shows, somethings never change.
Barkley has the technical ability to become a truly top player. However, it is becoming more and more obvious that he does not have the mental ability to match. His lack of development in the last few seasons has confirmed that as correct.
Just another overhyped player
Ross Barkley was like every young English player that breaks into a decent team in the English top-flight. He was built up so that the media could knock him down. It is the same with most players.
Barkley is a decent footballer and maybe with the right coaching and playing experience he may become a better footballer. However, the fact that he was talked up from the age of 16 years old has not helped his career.
The reason why it has not helped his career is that Barkley looks like he believes his own hype. His actions on and off the pitch in recent years suggest that he believes he is better than he actually is.
The fact that he moved to Chelsea suggests that too. It is fair enough thinking that a move to Chelsea is a step up from Everton, as even as an Evertonian I can see the sense in the move.
However, he was delusional if he thought he would get anywhere the Blues starting line-up. Granted he did have an injury, but just three appearances show that he is currently not good enough to play for the Blues. He may never be good enough to play for a top Premier League team. That not being harsh, that is just the reality of his situation.
Set to miss the World Cup
England boss Gareth Southgate virtually confirmed in May that Ross Barkley would not be in his England squad for the World Cup. The attacking midfielder is now 20/1 to be in the Three Lions squad for Russia 2018, the same odds as Jamaican-born Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey, who qualifies to play for England through relatives.
Ross Barkley’s career has fallen apart in the last 12 months or so. He has gone from a rising star to an expensive bench warmer at Chelsea. However, he couldn’t say I didn’t try to tell him ( in my editorial at the time) or that most people told him that moving to south west London was not a good move for his career.
Barkley is no doubt a lot richer than he was. However, the signs point to Ross Barkley becoming just another overrated player who believed his own hype and made one too many wrong decisions.
Can Ross Barkley still become a top player in the future?
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