Ross Barkley believes he can lead the next generation of England stars, which could also be good news for Everton fans.
Following England’s inability to qualify for the knock-out stages of the World Cup, the analysis on the Three Lions’ failings will begin in earnest.
And yet there are positives to take from the tournament, not least the fact that Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Luke Shaw have all now tasted action in football’s biggest tournament.
So what next?
Speaking to the FA’s official website Barkley said the following when asked if he could lead England’s next generation of English midfielders:
“I believe I can. I believe in myself and I’m confident.
“We’ve got good young players. Jack (Wilshere), Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Raheem Sterling. We’ve got other young lads coming through that are showing what they can do in the Premier League week in week out.
“We have to be able to do that at international level as we get older and hopefully in two years’ time at the Euros we’ll be ready for that.”
Barkley is already a player beyond his years, with the talent to go on to become one of England’s finest midfielders. But his words also hint that he could play a similar leadership role for Everton, which is encouraging considering the number of young players tipped to break through at Goodison Park.
George Green may be the next in line to follow Barkley into the Toffees first-team, but there is also John Lundstram, Hallam Hope and Chris Long to name a few; players who have the ability to keep the conveyor-belt of talent at Everton flowing smoothly.
And with the experience he already has at such a tender age, Barkley may just be about to lead the next generation of Everton talent towards a glorious future under Roberto Martinez.