Wayne Rooney has made some very positive comments about youngster Ross Barkley, ahead of a very important summer for the midfielder.
Barkley has developed tremendously under the guidance of Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park and the Manchester United striker is a clear admirer of the potential and talent he possesses.
“We have the likes of Ross Barkley. He has had a great season with Everton. Then (Daniel) Sturridge is more experienced, (Adam) Lallana is a bit older, too. So there is a great mix and I think we can surprise people,” said Rooney in an interview with the Daily Mail.
“You look at Sturridge, Sterling, Barkley, myself and Danny Welbeck. We can create things out of nothing. Sometimes you need that just to create that first goal and then you can settle down and play.”
Rooney’s employers have been linked with a high profile move to sign Barkley from Goodison Park and Rooney’s admiration of the youngster could work in United’s favour.
Old Trafford chiefs are yet to appoint a successor to David Moyes in Manchester but when they do, that coach is likely to consult United’s key players over where they feel the squad needs to be improved.
Rooney is one United player who could urge that coach, most likely Louis van Gaal, to invest big and invest British with Barkley one of the obvious young talents who could improve United’s current midfield.
It’s the one area of United’s team which was consistently criticised throughout last season.
United have creative players in the form of Shinji Kagawa and Juan Mata but what they really lack is someone to burst forward from the midfield and take on players, pushing a defence back.
Barkley is also the sort of player who could help Rooney consolidate as United’s main striker, when there have been suggestions that van Gaal could give Robin Van Persie the main attacking position if he’s confirmed in the job.
Roberto Martinez’ position definitely hasn’t changed. Barkley is a special talent and if United want him, they’re going to have to pay an awful lot of money to get the Toffees to even contemplate going anywhere near a deal.