Ross Barkley has been compared to Paul Gascoigne by former England captain Gary Lineker, who believes the Everton midfielder may be able to have a notable impact for his country at the World Cup. Barkley, who has been linked with both Liverpool and Manchester United, was named in Roy Hodgson’s 23 on Monday, and his inclusion has clearly excited Lineker.
Barkley scored six goals in the Premier League season and established himself as one of Everton’s key players under the tutelage of Roberto Martinez. The 20-year-old may not be in contention to play quite the same role for England in Brazil, although of course there is a hope Barkley may be let loose by Hodgson.
Such are Barkley’s talents he is being touted as a potential heir to Gascoigne, renowned as one of the most talented players to ever represent England, and Lineker can see similarities between his former international teammate and the young Toffees star.
“I see things in Barkley’s game, in terms of strengths and weaknesses,” Lineker told the Daily Mail.
“Like Gazza he can go past people. He’s incredibly strong. He’s got a similar stature, got amazing ability and will score amazing goals like Gazza.”
Should Barkley perform to distinction for England this summer, the clamour for his coveted signature will only increase. Manchester United have long been credited with interest in the player, although it remains to be seen if Louis van Gaal would sanction a move to bring Barkley to Old Trafford.
Along with Manchester United, Liverpool are also reported to harbour a desire to lure Barkley to Anfield - something that will not go down well at Goodison Park in the slightest. Liverpool, it has been claimed, are considering a club record £38 million bid for Barkley.