Ross Barkley was once regarded as a potential Everton legend in the making. It is the old story of a young kid breaking through at his boyhood club and living the dream. However, Barkley’s dream turned rather sour at Everton.
The midfielder had undoubted potential. However, his career seemed to stall in his early 20’s. His decision-making was atrocious and the Everton fans let him know about it.
The manner of his exit left a bitter taste
Everton fans have had to accept in recent years that they will have to sell their best players. The Toffees are not unique in that sense, as every club will sell virtually every player at the right price.
Barkley chose to run down his contract rather than sign a renewal with the Toffees, which was his prerogative. However, the midfielder turned down a £30million move to Chelsea on deadline day of 2017, because he wasn’t sure about the switch.
Fast forward to last January and suddenly he was sure about the move to Stamford Bridge. Only this time he only had six months left on his Everton contract, so cost the Blues a cut-price figure of around £15million.
No doubt the move was well orchestrated by his agent. The transfer obviously benefitted Barkley and his representatives more financially in January, as they had cut the transfer fee in half, which surely gave the midfielders a better deal.
The majority of Everton fans were not mourning the loss of the inconsistent Barkley, more the loss of £15million, not that the club are short of cash under owner Farhad Moshiri.
Very few positives about Everton
Very few players have anything bad to say about Everton. Even Romelu Lukaku who hankered for a move away from Merseyside for a couple of years thanked the club for what they had done for him when he moved to Manchester United.
Barkley seems to have forgotten his boyhood club very quickly since his move to London. Maybe blinded by money or the bright lights, Barkley seems to have few positive things to say about the Toffees, which is disappointing for a local lad.
Barkley has criticised the coaching at the club, while also never saying it was hard to leave the club he had previously professed to love. Players move clubs all the time and it is only a job for most.
However, considering how partisan locals are in Liverpool, Barkley seems to have little love left for his former club. Unlike some players, he should have an emotional attachment to Everton, but he now just seems cold to the club that nurtured him.
Now more consistent at Chelsea
Ross Barkley comes up against his former club for the first time this weekend. Chelsea are odds of 2/5 to record a victory. The midfielder has finally shown in recent months a touch of consistency and will keen to add to his recent good performances against his former club.
Barkley has credited Italian boss Maurizio Sarri with the improvement in his game in recent months. However, maybe he is finally growing up and maturing as a person as well. The soon to be 25-year-old looks to be finally fulfilling his potential in a blue shirt. Unfortunately, it is not the blue shirt of Everton. Chelsea are finally benefitting from the midfielder’s talent.
Ironically, if Barkley would have stayed at Everton at bit longer, arguably Portuguese boss Marco Silva could have helped develop his game, as the former Watford boss has a knack for helping players develop.
Luckily, for Everton, it seems they now have a group of players who buy into the club and look to be moving in the right direction. However, it seems a torrid record at Stamford Bridge is unlikely to improve against Barkley and co. on Sunday afternoon, as the home side has been in fantastic form under the highly-talented Sarri.
Will Ross Barkley record a win in his first encounter with former club Everton?
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