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Whelan Backs Everton To Recruit This Chelsea Midfielder: Should Rafa Move In For Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with Football Insider, former Leeds United forward Noel Whelan backed Everton to recruit Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley. Whelan urged the Toffees to bring the English midfield ace back to Goodison Park and said,

“I think that would be a good signing and I can see it happening.

“We’re seeing a different Ross Barkley right now to the one we saw at Aston Villa last season – he’s got his mojo back.

“He’s got that hunger; he wants to impress when he comes off the bench at Chelsea – he’s pressing and hustling the opposition really well.

“He’s also capable of getting into that final third and causing teams problems in there, as well.

“I was disappointed with his performances at Aston Villa, he had a real opportunity to make the grade there and step into that Grealish-shaped hole this season.

“He’s not hit the heights of his potential, but he could get back to his best back at Everton.”

Barkley’s Diminishing Influence At Stamford Bridge

The 27-year-old has been a useful player in Thomas Tuchel’s match-day squad this season but has struggled to earn regular first-team starts over the past few months. Barkley has been involved in eight matches for the West London club so far but is still waiting to open his goal-scoring account for this campaign.

Despite his lack of game time, the English talent has caught the eye by averaging 1.5 shots, 1.5 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per game in the Premier League. He has also taken care of the ball when interchanging possession from midfield, based on his pass success rate of 84.9% in the top tier of English football (stats via whoscored).

Everton (Ross Barkley)
LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 26: Ross Barkley of Chelsea during the Carabao Cup Round of 16 match between Chelsea and Southampton at Stamford Bridge on October 26, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
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Should Everton Boss Rafael Benitez Move In For Barkley?

Barkley can be a productive midfielder when he is playing well on the field. He has got the eye to play a decisive pass in and around the opposition half. The English sensation doesn’t need an invitation to have a strike at goal from long range as he can shoot the ball with venom and precision. He can even make a few clever runs with the ball in the attacking end of the pitch.

However, injuries have disrupted Barkley’s progress in recent times, so he would be eager to prove his worth by getting a regular run of games next year. Hence, Everton could be a perfect destination for him because of his previous spell at Goodison Park.

Barkley knows the Merseyside club well and won’t take any time setting into Rafael Benitez’s style of play. Thus, it makes sense for the Everton manager to move in for the Chelsea outcast when the transfer window reopens at the start of next year.

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