Ross Barkley stunned Chelsea by declining a £35 million transfer to Stamford Bridge in the summer after the club had agreed on a fee with Everton.
The Toffees academy graduate scuppered the Blue’s chances of completing a late deadline day transfer, instead, returning to Goodison Park.
Everton fans had thought they’d seen the last of the 24-year-old who worked his way through the ranks before his talent caught the interest of some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs.
But his unexpected return to Merseyside was short-lived, as a long-term injury, followed by his eventual move to Chelsea earlier this month, saw him fail to make an appearance.
The highly-rated midfielder is expected to be on the bench for Saturday’s trip to Brighton, where Antonio Conte is considering giving his £15 million signing his debut.
It could the start of a bright new chapter for Barkley, starting at the AMEX should he make an appearance, and will hope he proves to be a bargain at Stamford Bridge.
Everton lost £20 million from the original deal with Chelsea after the midfielder rejected a move in the summer when the two clubs had agreed a £35 million fee.
However, Barkley tried to justify his reasoning for delaying his move to south west London, in an interview with Sky Sports.
Barkley reveals injury trauma
“I had a massive injury, which was really bad. I ruptured my hamstring and before that I had surgery two weeks earlier on a hernia, so before the season has even started I had two surgeries.” Barkley revealed.
“At the time I couldn’t even walk, I was in a brace for six weeks and couldn’t put any pressure through my legs so I didn’t feel it was right to make a move at the time.
“I wanted to weigh up all my options and really think about what I am going to do with the next stage of my career.
“I have never had a muscle injury before, it was a weird one in training, I went in for a tackle, slipped and felt a pop at the top end of my hamstring and I pulled the tendon off the bone. It was really bad.”
Evertonian reveals decision on Chelsea
Despite appearing to question the opportunity to join the reigning Premier League champions, Barkley still selected Conte’s side, despite strong interest from Tottenham.
“After a few days I was having surgery in London and my future was all up in the air and I thought it was best to focus on getting fit, which took a while, and then I thought this was the right move for me.”
Time will tell if it was the right move for Chelsea and Conte will be desperate for his first January signing to make swift progress as he looks to improve the fortunes of his underperforming side.