Name: Ross Barkley
Date of Birth: 5/12/1993
Former Clubs: Sheffield Wednesday, Leeds United
League Appearances (Goals): 49 (7)
International Appearances (Goals): 3 (0)
Stat of the Day: Ross Barkley has a combined 19 key passes and assists to his name this season
Player Profile: I remember tuning in to Sky Sports every week of the 2004/2005 season to watch Barcelona play for the sole reason of watching one player: Ronaldinho. The type of player that you watched just for the pure entertainment factor and the type of player you`d happily part with your ticket money for. In Ross Barkley, Everton boast not only an English talent, but a talent that could potentially possess the flair and ability that fans will go just to pay and watch, akin to that of the Brazilian legend. The attacking midfielder`s raw and exciting talent is a breath of fresh air from the technically sound academy-football English clubs are now promoting (think Tom Carroll) and the 20-year-old, who seems to be one of the last fading ‘street footballers`, undoubtedly has a big future ahead of him.
Tipped to become an Evertonian star from an early age, Roberto Martinez has described Barkley as a ‘mix between Michael Ballack and Paul Gascoigne` and utilised in the ‘coveted Number 10 position` just behind the striker, Barkley`s athleticism and creativity has seen him tipped to become the fulcrum of England`s 2016 European Championship team. It is a no brainer in taking Barkley to the 2014 World Cup; if we`re going to exit at an early stage, we may as well exit an early stage with a bit of class and guile. For now, I advise observing the development of a great talent that you should be privileged to be in the presence of.
Ross Barkley joined Everton as an 11-year-old and made his way successfully through the club`s youth teams. He was expected to make his Premier League debut in late 2010 but a broken leg in three places delayed his inevitable rise to a first team regular.
Barkley`s debut came the following season in a 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers, where he was subsequently named Everton`s Man of the Match. In September 2012 the midfielder joined Sheffield Wednesday on a one month loan deal. Barkley made 13 appearances for The Owls as his deal was extended before he was recalled by Everton. He joined Leeds United on another one month loan deal in January 2013, making four appearances at Elland Road.
Barkley came to the fore at the beginning of the 2013/2014 season as he scored his first goal for the club on the opening day of the season in 2-2 draw against Norwich City. He has since become a vital member of Everton`s squad and earned his first senior International cap in August 2013 against Moldova.
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One to Watch – Ross Barkley
Name: Ross Barkley