Joining the best team in the land last season, where Barkley could play Champions League football and challenge for four different trophies... what could go wrong?
Well, a lot. And Barkley only has to look at the player City are reportedly offering as part of the deal to bring him to the Etihad Stadium: Jack Rodwell.
Rodwell, too, was a massive talent during his days at Everton. His future promised so much, as England fans rejoiced at the possibility of a talented midfielder leading their country some years down the line.
Then, he moved to City and the promise (at least temporarily) disappeared.
On the fringes in Manchester, Rodwell has been given just a handful of appearances since joining the club, with developing English talent not seen as a priority in City's first team. Now, he's being offered back to Everton simply as a bait to try their luck with a new talented star.
Why should Barkley put himself through that?
|Team||Pos||Goals||Assists||Dribbles Won||Big Chances Created||Apps||Mins|
|Yaya Touré||Man City||MF||20||9||42||9||35||2,927|
|Samir Nasri||Man City||MF||7||8||43||4||34||2,498|
|David Silva||Man City||MF||7||9||29||11||27||2,173|
|Jesús Navas||Man City||MF||4||7||25||10||30||1,774|
As Opta stats show, the 20-year-old would face an immense amount of competition for a first-team place in Manuel Pellegrini's side. Would the England midfielder have any chance of getting into the XI?
Based on goals scored, perhaps. Based on dribbles won, easily. But with zero assists to his name in last season's Premier League and just two chances created, would Pellegrini really drop one of his big-name stars for Barkley?
The assumption would be no. And that is not a criticism of City. The reason a move for Barkley at this stage might not work is because of the supreme talent at their disposal already.
To defend titles you need squad depth. But taking a midfielder with a promising future is not the right move if there is less chance of him developing. City have already added Fernando to their illustrious list of midfielders, meanwhile, making the competition for places even tougher.
A move to the Etihad, then, would not be the right one for Barkley right now. The Everton starlet would be better of spending another season under Roberto Martinez's tutelage, or at the very least securing a move where first-team football would be much easier to come by.