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What does the future hold for Ross Barkley?

Thursday 14th September 2017
Everton midfielder Ross Barkley's transfer saga has come to an end after he snubbed a move to Chelsea. The question remains. How bright is his future?

Will Barkley stay at Everton beyond January? Will he earn a spot in the squad for the interim? Or will he continue his U23 exile until his contract expires at season's end?

Why he turned down Chelsea

It seemed like the England international could be exiting Goodison Park on transfer deadline day. The Merseyside club approved a bid in the £35 million range. Suddenly, the deal was canceled. The player, citing his injury, decided he needed to assess his situation before making such a crucial decision.
Barkley's decision makes sense. He may not have been available for Chelsea until December. When cleared, he would have had to learn, then fit into Antonio Conte's unfamiliar system. The England international would have been at a tremendous disadvantage trying to unseat one from N'golo Kante, Tiemoueye Bakayoko, Cesc Fabregas, Victor Moses, Willian, Eden Hazard, and even David Luiz, for a starting role.

Will he find his feet again at Everton?

Autumn and early winter will be a trying time for Ross Barkley. He has already made clear his intention to leave the club. Some players may accept him with open arms. Others could will blacklist a player who has no love for the club. He doesn't share their commitment.
On the other hand, he has a teammate who has been in a similar situation. Wayne Rooney submitted two transfer requests while at Manchester United, remaining at Old Trafford on both occasions. Barkley may need to lean on the the former England captain for some advice on how best to handle the situation. Of course, Rooney himself has tested the club's patience after being cited for drunk driving.

What are Barkley's chances with England?

When he rose to prominence at Everton, he was touted as the next Paul Gascoigne, a revelation for the England national team. Yet, despite promising performances for the Toffees, his international career has little history. He is usually selected in the squad but hardly features.
Until he begins playing regularly, further selection is doubtful. Meanwhile, he faces an identical situation at Everton due to Ronald Koeman's recent additions. Davy Klassen, Nikola Vlasic, Rooney, and the club's record signing, Gylfi Sigurdsson, will see Barkley relegated to the bench more often than not.

Will he move during the winter transfer window or at season's end?

Barkley may still consider taking his game away from Everton in January. According to reports, the 23-year-old prefers to sign for Tottenham over Chelsea. Such would be an opportunity to play at Wembley, though not in the Three Lions strip. Again, his chances for first team football would be just as limited.

If he does vacate Goodison Park in January, he will not be fully fit to walk into a side. The torn hamstring he sustained three months ago prevented Spurs from making an offer. They could reignite their interest. Then again, it's more likely Barkley would have to consider a less established side. Bournemouth took a flyer last season on Jack Wilshere. If their early struggles continue, the Cherries may roll the dice again on Barkley.
Only time can tell what will become of Ross Barkley's career. With 2018 being a World Cup year, the 23-year-old must make the right decision if he wants to go to Russia.
Adebayo Temitope

Temitope, an ardent soccer fan. I may be based in Lagos but I watch as much European football as I can. I've been writing about football for several years, before I joined IRIAW you may have seen my work on The Football Weeks. I'm also a keen music fan


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