Big season ahead for Everton’s prodigious talent

Everton Goodison 2

Ross Barkley will look to stay fit this season, and if he does he can play a major role for Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park.

Everton fans can expect their team to adopt a possession-based style of attacking football this season, with new manager Roberto Martinez at the helm. The Spaniard has shown at Wigan that he wants his teams to look to keep the ball, no matter the circumstance, and will embrace his players’ natural abilities.

This is excellent news for a certain Everton youngster, who at one point in his fledgling career was being touted as the most prodigious talent at the Merseyside club since Wayne Rooney.

Ross Barkley’s career has had its considerable share of ups and downs since he made his senior debut for the club in the first game of the 2011-12 season. When on form and given a free reign by David Moyes, Barkley looked like a player destined for greatness. His turn of pace, ability on the ball and eye for a killer pass delighted the Goodison Park faithful, who could instantly see the potential in Barkley.

Making your Premier League debut as a 17-year-old is a rather daunting proposition, but Barkley took it all in his stride. Despite the acclaim that he received after a positive start to life in the Everton first-team, the youngster has only made 13 Premier League appearances in his short-lived time in senior football.

Barkley has been very unlucky with injuries, with a broken leg blighting the playmaker’s development. With loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United under his belt over the last year, it appears that Barkley is now ready to return to the fold for Everton and start to live up to his early promise.

Still only 19, Barkley will need to be managed correctly by Martinez, who will urge the Wavertree-born star in the making to follow his natural instincts and embrace the flair that the player has at his feet. Barkley is something of a forgotten man, but can be a wildcard for the Toffees this season as they look to progress.

Barkley stepped out for England under-21’s last night, coming on for the injured Nathaniel Chalobah in the first-half. The Everton man got amongst the goals in the 6-0 rout of Scotland, and will hope to solidify a place in the squad for the next couple of years after representing his country at under-16, 17, 19 and 20 level.

Everton have one of England’s most promising up-and-coming stars in their midst, and although Barkley has received injury setbacks in his short career to date, he could propel himself firmly back into the limelight this term.

images: © isirya, © Ben Sutherland

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