Have Everton unearthed the next Wayne Rooney?
Everton have unearthed another diamond in Ross Barkley
Merseyside tends to have a habit of finding stars of the future and Everton seem to have unveiled a youngster in Ross Barkley who has the potential to be a regular for both club and country.
Barkley's first Premier League goal in the 2-2 draw at Norwich City was itself a quality strike and helped earn him the man of the match award. He seems to possess that one quality that you just cannot teach - the art of seemingly having plenty of time on the ball. In the hustle and bustle of the Premier League it is a quality that is rare.
Everton clearly rate Barkley and they may have to use him more often if Manchester United get their way and manage to prise Fellaini away from Merseyside. It may be a good thing for Barkley if Fellaini does move to Old Trafford allowing him more opportunities.
Everton have slowly but surely helped Barkley in his football education. Last season Barkley had a very successful loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday where he was impressive in a struggling Championship side. He had a further, brief, loan spell at Leeds United.
Despite only making 34 senior appearances there are signs he can be one of the best players of his generation. Very rarely is a player spoken of so highly at such a young age and with so little experience but Barkley has all the ingredients to succeed.
Barkley is now a very important player for England Under-21s and has represented England at all levels from Under-16. Clearly his talent is well known in the England set-up.
Everton will hope that no big club comes in for the youngster in the future but I have a feeling they will do if he develops like I think he will.
Lets hope that he can avoid the distractions and pitfalls that some footballers are susceptible to and if he stays serious injury free Everton may well have a world-class player on their hands, just like they did with Wayne Rooney.
The initial signs are good.
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