Precociously-talented 20-year-old Ross Barkley is 14 months older than Manchester United prospect Adnan Januzaj and, while the latter has attracted endless accolades for being one of the few bright sparks in an otherwise uninspiring Manchester United midfield.
The printed press churned out relentless headlines and when Andreas Pereira scored a pearler in the youth ranks, 'the next Januzaj' was apparently unearthed - all while Adnan was still just 18.
Januzaj is a spectacularly-gifted teenager, is capable of playing anywhere across the forward line, but in terms of consistent impact, Ross Barkley has his number.
Barkley, once lauded as a Michael Ballack/Paul Gascoigne hybrid, certainly has the swagger of a young Gazza and has the potential to inspire a team with his performances, like Steven Gerrard.
Against Newcastle United on Tuesday evening, Barkley punctuated his candidacy for a place in the England World Cup squad this summer by beginning a dribbling move at the halfway line at St James Park before running around the Magpies rearguard as if they were training cones on Merseyside, cutting inside and striking the football into the goal.
Manager Roberto Martinez told Sky Sports that "sensational" Barkley demonstrated great "physicality" as well as technique, in order to pull off that highlight-reel goal.
He said: "I think Ross has got that sensational talent.You've seen that physicality; you don't get many players with that technical ability that can come with that physical element. He has both, to run across the whole pitch and score, it was a real joy to watch."
Judging from the data below, Barkley is deserved of more hype than Januzaj. They have created a similar amount of chances, with Barkley's supply of an assist's assist offset by Adnan's brace of actual assists, however, Barkley has two more goals, has a higher pass completion rate and enjoys far more of the football than Januzaj does on a per game average.
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