Ross Barkley’s career has stagnated since he left Everton and joined Chelsea in 2018.
The English midfielder was one viewed as the next Paul Gascoigne after his brilliant performances for the Toffees as a fearless youngster.
But these days, he’s anything but that. Barkley has spent the 2020/21 season on loan at Aston Villa and despite an impressive start, the 27-year-old has really struggled for consistent game time.
Given his age, it’s hard to envisage a world in the future where Barkley isn’t viewed as a footballer who didn’t fulfil anything close to his full potential.
It’s a real shame, but at least the Liverpool-born midfielder delivered some stellar moments in an Everton shirt, including a stunning goal against Manchester City in May 2014.
Barkley also produced some elite-level arrogance during his spell at Goodison Park.
During a 6-3 victory over Bournemouth in February 2017, the Englishman decided to do something few players would have the bottle to attempt.
With Everton 5-3 up in stoppage-time, Barkley was presented a chance to get his name on the scoresheet.
He rounded Bournemouth ‘keeper Artur Boruc and with the goal at his mercy, Barkley decided to celebrate the strike before he had even attempted the shot.
Imagine if he had slipped and then fluffed his lines…
“Even Everton fans deep down wanted him to miss at that point,” one user wrote in the comment section.
“This is the football version of Usain Bolt’s world record 100m sprint,” another added and that’s an image we just cannot get out of our head.
In an interview shortly after the game, Barkley explained that his premature celebration was simply a sign of how much he was enjoying football at the time.
“That just showed how much I’m enjoying it at the minute, and that’s the same with all of the lads as well,” he told Everton’s official website.
“The goal was in the last minute – and it’s something you do as a kid. I was through and knew I wasn’t missing, so I celebrated before I scored. It was just on the spur of the moment, I thought about doing it straight away.”
Fair play, Ross.