Liverpool legend compares Everton prodigy Barkley to Gazza

Phil Thompson has been singing the praises of Everton starlet Ross Barkley this weekend.

Everton are still searching for their first win under the tutelage of new boss Roberto Martinez, after a 0-0 draw with West Bromwich Albion at Goodison Park the Everton fans will be left frustrated that they have just two points from games where they should have had six.

But one of the big revelations of the season so far has been Ross Barkley, who is finally coming good at the club.

When he starred for the England youth teams earlier in his career, it appeared he was destined for greatness - but things have conspired against him.

A serious injury and an apparent lack of confidence has seen him miss out on making that vital breakthrough at the club.

But pre-season has been good for the 19-year-old and it appears his breakthrough moment came at Carrow Road last week.

He switched the ball onto his left foot, and from 25 yards hammered a strike beyond the diving John Ruddy - it was a majestic strike that capped an excellent individual performance.

He was again impressive against The Baggies yesterday - and before the game he was given very high praise indeed, by a man with more links to Liverpool then four guys in black suits singing ‘She Loves You’.

Phil Thompson played over 350 games for Liverpool in a 13 year playing career at Anfield - and was also assistant manager under Gerard Houllier, and caretaker whilst Houllier was recovering from emergency heart surgery.

Yesterday, whilst talking on Soccer Saturday, ‘Thommo’ spoke in glowing terms of the teenager from Wavertree:

‘’This boy reminds me … like a Paul Gascoigne. In his pomp he could control a ball and be past somebody like Jack Wilshere does. Glide past them, this boy, not saying he will be as good as him, but he has fantastic ability.’’

You can certainly see the comparison between him and Gazza. A rumbustious and gifted player who seems to have more talent than he actually believes - the world is quite literally at his feet.

Yet, like with Gazza and Wilshere to some extent, you feel that talent is so fragile and precocious it could be taken away from him at any moment.

But we hope not, because not only could he be a future star for Everton - but for England as well.

Could Barkley ever be in the same category as the mercurial Gazza?

image: © rosshawkes

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