Phil Neville certainly knows a thing or two about football.
The former Manchester United and Everton defender enjoyed an 18-year career before taking up his first coaching role at Old Trafford in 2013.
Away from the pitch, Neville draws upon his vast experience to offer insightful analysis as a football pundit – at least that is how it is meant to work.
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Appearing on Monday Night Football alongside Jamie Carragher, the 39-year-old suggested that Toffees playmaker Ross Barkley is poised to become one of the best.
Barkley was subbed at the break following a disappointing first-half display – and Carragher made sure to highlight Neville’s failed pre-game prediction.
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The former Liverpool defender re-posted a tweet claiming “Phil Neville believes Ross Barkley is on the path to greatest” shortly after the England man was benched in favour of Gerard Deulofeu.
Yes, Neville may have jumped the gun slightly by proposing that Barkley could one day be held in the same regard as Premier League legends Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Paul Scholes.
But when the 22-year-old’s stats are compared with the aforementioned trio when they were cutting their teeth in the English top-flight, it is not difficult to see why Neville has a great deal of faith in his potential.
Barkley has registered a combined total of 28 goals and assists in 117 appearances for the Toffees to date – seven ahead of Scholes, two behind Gerrard and just three shy of Lampard when they were 22 years and nine months old.
Barkley has an enormous amount of work to do if he is to come close to reaching the same heights as three of the finest players the Premier League has seen – especially considering his sluggish start to the current season.
The England international has struggled to find his best form after bagging his first and only goal of the campaign on the opening day before providing an assist against West Brom the following week.
Consistency formed a significant part of what made Lampard and co. such incredible players, and only time will tell whether Barkley can live up to Neville’s sky-high expectations.
Can Barkley be one of the Premier League's best? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!
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