Ross Barkley, Everton’s attacking midfielder was subjected to endless transfer speculation over the summer.
Barkley, who has entered the final year of his contract, has not yet put pen to paper on an extension and is unlikely to do so. Chelsea reportedly submitted a late bid for the Everton man but Barkley’s pre-season hamstring injury defaulted the bid.
Barkley, who is close to match fitness, is almost surely going to move in January with both player and club keen to see a deal through. Everton had softened their stance over the player and are keen to not lose their player on a free transfer. It means they are willing to accept a cut-price deal for their midfielder otherwise risk losing him for free next summer.
Tottenham Hotspur were also keen to snap up the English player alongside Chelsea as Mauricio Pochettino looked for midfield cover for the injury-ridden Mousa Dembele.
Barkley is a dynamic and technically gifted player with a certain love for the dramatics. Unlike most other English players of the yesteryear, Barkley may not be the consistent player but has enough zap in his game to create a difference on the pitch. He is known for his expansive style of play and always looks to make the sharp pass, the fancy dribble or try the outrageous shot rather than keep the ball rolling in the park.
A player with good pace and power, Barkley was praised by FC Barcelona legend Xavi when he said that Ross was good enough to play in the La Liga. The 23-year old is already a dynamic midfielder and has the perfect years ahead of him to mature and mould into a superstar player if he can stay injury free and add more composure to his game.
Chelsea’s move for Barkley would tick multiple boxes for the club. First and foremost it would take care of the homegrown players’ quota, a developing problem at SW6 since the departures of Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry.
In terms of fitting into Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formation, Barkley would be eligible to play as a deep-lying midfielder or an attacking midfielder or even a wing-forward and hence provide multiple covers for the Italian. This would mean that there would be no dearth of game time for the English player and he could get to choose his preferred position over the years as his development continues.
With Chelsea’s lack of squad depth after losing Nathaniel Chalobah to Watford and Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan to Crystal Palace, Barkley would bring in some much-needed strength to the squad and add a new dimension of midfield quality to The Blues lineup.
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