One to watch: Ross Barkley (Everton)

Less than three weeks ago, Ross Barkley made his long awaited debut for Everton against newly promoted QPR – while the Toffees were below-par and were defeated 1-0, David Moyes singled out the 17 year-old post match: “He nearly carried the team today, he made chances, he tried to take chances and he looked really good today.”

Barkley’s pass completion in that game was 81% – 26 out of 32 passes were completed.

Also, for his debut the youngster was not afraid to take a shot – all four of which came from outside the box – one of them being on target.

Despite being just 17, Barkley had been expected to make his bow long before this season – the clubs academy have been very excited at the prospect of him (Now, where have we heard that before?) having joined the club as an 11 year old.

However, this was before he suffered a horrific triple-leg last October break which impeded his development by about 12 months hence why he is only making his debut for the Toffees this season – though, Barkley did make the bench and was an unused sub against Newcastle last September. David Moyes even admitted he should have made his debut sooner: “I think he would have played in the first team already this year if he hadn’t had his injury.”

At 6ft 2inches Barkley is by no means a pushover. He is strong, versatile and confident on the ball, essentially your typical box-to-box midfielder. Just last week he was called up to and made his debut for the England U21 squad, having already represented England at U16, U17 and U19 level – he looks set to follow in the footsteps of Jack Rodwell and whisper it, a certain Wayne Rooney.

Even his teammate, Louis Saha has tipped the youngster for great success in the future: “I think he’s got all the ability to be a great player for Everton and for England. He’s got power, strength, confidence and speed.”

Bad news for Everton, rumours suggest that Sir Alex Ferguson already has his sights set on the teenager. Regardless, Ross Barkley has a great future ahead of himself.

This post can also be found on Sports Witness


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