On Monday night, England recorded their tenth win from ten Euro 2016 qualifier games. The Three Lions may have qualified for the competition after their victory against Switzerland last month, but one player in particular, was keen to take the opportunity to show Roy Hodgson of his talents.
Everton's Ross Barkley broke into their first team two seasons ago. A surprise inclusion in the Toffee's Premier league opener against Norwich. The then 19-year-old seized his opportunity and scored a thunderous 20-yard drive.
The 2013-14 season proved to be the beginning of Barkley's rise, from exciting academy prospect to Everton icon and one of England's brightest talents. Barkley scored a host of memorable goals, including a 70-yard run against Newcastle United. His talents were recognised by Roy Hodgson, with the England boss selecting Barkley for his World Cup squad.
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Since breaking into the England fold, Ross Barkley has found chances limited. Perhaps due to a season to forget at Everton last year. The Blues finished a disappointing 11th place and Barkley struggled to cope with his new talismanic role.
However, the towering Englishman has started this season in very good form. Scoring three times and notching three assists in all competitions. Hodgson it seems could not ignore Barkley's dazzling form and rewarded him with a starting place in England's qualifiers against Estonia and Lithuania.
The Wavertree-born midfielder enjoyed two Man-of-the-Match performances, scoring against Lithuania and claiming a mouth-watering assist for Theo Walcott against Estonia.
Football experts and fans alike have been quick to ask the question. Should Hodgson mould his Euro 2016 side around Ross Barkley?
Barkley has been compared to midfield maestros Michael Ballack and Paul Gascoigne by several pundits. Michael Owen has suggested in the past that England should build around Barkley and his opinion was reiterated by BBC pundit Chris Waddle during Monday night's game.
It is clear to see that at his brilliant best, the likes of which he showed on Monday, Ross Barkley can pull the strings for England. His spontaneous moments of skill give defenders headaches. However, Barkley's raw decision making and low defensive work rate is giving Roy Hodgson a headache of a different kind.
No doubt Barkley will be heavily in the thoughts of Hodgson for next summer's competition. The young midfielder needs to show his maturity as well as ability to control football matches in order to secure a starting place in England's opening game at the Euro 2016 finals.
Should England build their starting XI around Ross Barkley? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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