As usual, transfer deadline day was all talk and amounted to very little in the end. However, one of the biggest stories of the day was Everton midfielder Ross Barkley turning down a £35million move to English champions Chelsea.
The two clubs agreed a fee and the player accompanied by his agent travelled to London to discuss personal terms and for Barkley to have a medical.
There are varying reports today, with some suggesting that Barkley decided while he was having a medical and some reports stating he changed his minds prior to starting his medical. Either way, it is a very strange decision for the midfielder to make.
Not wanted at Everton
For all his supposed potential, Barkley has produced very little of substance in the last few seasons for the Toffees. A number of bosses at both club and international level have had their doubts about the attacking midfielder in the past.
Current Everton boss Ronald Koeman seems to have serious reservations about the attacking midfielder. The Dutchman quite honestly, as is his way, stated earlier in the summer that if Barkley does not sign a new deal then the Toffees would sell him.
Everton did their bit by accepting Chelsea’s bid. However, Barkley rather strangely turned down the move. Barkley has burnt his bridges at his boyhood club by running down his contract and telling the Merseysiders he wants to leave.
It seems that he was probably more likely to get playing time at Chelsea than at Everton. It seems unlikely that Koeman will ever reinstate Barkley in the Everton starting line-up. He could find himself frozen out completely on Merseyside, although Koeman has stated he may well use him when fit.
Barkley would not have been a regular in the Chelsea team. However, with so many games this season the midfielder may have seen some action at Stamford Bridge as a squad player.
Change of heart maybe money motivated
The cynic in me says that Barkley has decided against the move so that he benefits financially in the January transfer window or even next summer when he will be a free agent.
The playmaker is playing a dangerous game, though. An injury will prevent him from playing until November reportedly, so he will not get much playing time between now and the next transfer window.
Potentially Barkley may not play again until January. By then the likes of Chelsea and supposedly Tottenham may have turned their attentions elsewhere. After Barkley turned down the move to Chelsea, they decided to spend the £35million on Leicester star Danny Drinkwater instead.
They are vastly different players. However, they are both essentially midfielders and Chelsea may feel they are now covered in the middle of the park in January.
There is no doubt that somebody will sign Barkley on a free in the summer. Before then, though the midfielder has to try to recover from injury. He will hope to get in the England World Cup squad, if as expected the Three Lions get there, with Southgate’s team odds of 1/10 to win their qualification group.
Despite playing regularly for Everton, he has yet to convince England boss Gareth Southgate that he should be in his squad. By refusing to move to Chelsea, he may just have killed off his chances of playing for England at World Cup 2018.
Ross Barkley’s future unknown
It is difficult to see Ross Barkley playing much of a part in Everton’s campaign if playing any part in the Toffees campaign at all. It seems unlikely that Barkley decided against a move because he wanted to stay at Everton.
I doubt he will be putting pen to paper on a new contract with the Toffees anytime soon. That means he faces the prospect of a very difficult 11 months on Merseyside.
He is a local lad and supposedly an Evertonian. The Everton fans have not taken kindly to him snubbing an offer of a new deal. In reality, the majority of Evertonian’s would have been happy to see Barkley leave on deadline day.
The attacking midfielder’s development has completely stalled. He now faces the prospect of the next few months on the sidelines. Who knows what happens then.
However, I would suggest that for whatever reason Barkley rejected Chelsea, from a footballing point of view it was a poor decision. From a financial viewpoint, it could be shrewd. However, he is a footballer at the end of the day and this decision could well damage his career.
Has Ross Barkley made the right decision in rejecting Chelsea move?
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