Ever since it was announced that David Moyes was taking over at Manchester United, all of the talk has been about the possibility of Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines following him to Old Trafford.
However, it is a 19-year-old midfield maestro who could be the first Everton player to follow his boss to United and Ross Barkley would represent a brilliant piece of business by Moyes if it happens.
The links, speculation and rumours surrounding Fellaini and Baines have effectively created a smoke screen and if the rumours about Barkley are true, that has allowed United to go about securing a £12 million deal for a very talented player.
Barkley has featured prominently in the Everton side towards the close of the season, producing some performances which suggest he has experience and maturity far beyond his 19 years.
It would be a sensible investment by Moyes because while Barkley would not feature consistently in the United first team, it’s an example that he’s already thinking like Sir Alex Ferguson.
He’s already focusing on a player who he can effectively plant now, benefiting from the fruits of what grows in a few years time.
That is exactly how Ferguson has built team after team during his time at Old Trafford and it’s something which should be well maintained during the Moyes era as United usher in a new era and new players.
There has been a lot made of an apparent pact between Moyes and Everton, that states he will not look to sign any of their players in his new capacity as United manager.
However, that pact seems to apply to only Fellaini and Baines, which means, regardless of the abuse Moyes would get from Everton fans, he’s not going back on his word by trying to sign Barkley.
With Michael Carrick now the wrong side of 30, United will have two key young players in Barkley and Nick Powell if the new United boss can convince his former player to sign.
The competition between those young players for that long term place in the side is something, which will definitely benefit United over the next couple of seasons.
Barkley is on a long deal at Goodison Park so it’s not going to be cheap for United to poach him away but he’s been superb in his 18 appearances for Everton thus far and if they weren’t terrified of losing him before then they certainly should be now.
Do you think Barkley will follow Moyes to Old Trafford?
image: © Jason Gulledge