Ross Barkley, the English attacking midfielder was subjected to endless transfer speculation over the summer. Barkley, who had entered the final year of his contract at Everton, did not yet put pen to paper on an extension and was never likely to do so. Chelsea reportedly submitted a late bid for the Everton man but Barkley’s pre-season hamstring injury defaulted the £35m bid.
Barkley who is close to match fitness has made his January move to the London based club, Chelsea. Everton had softened their stance over the player and were keen to not lose their player on a free transfer. It meant they were willing to accept a cut-price deal for their midfielder otherwise risk losing him for free next summer.
Tottenham Hotspur was also keen to snap up the English player alongside Chelsea but Mauricio Pochettino seems to have set his eyes elsewhere by opting not to follow up on Barkley.
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 will tick multiple boxes for the club. First and foremost it has taken 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 will be eligible to play as a deep-lying midfielder or an attacking midfielder or even a wing-forward and hence provide multiple cover for the Italian. This will also 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 will 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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