Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes that Ross Barkley’s return to fitness could see striker Romelu Lukaku return to form.
Belgium international Lukaku has endured an indifferent start to the 2014-15 Premier League campaign, scoring two goals, providing one assist and creating three chances in seven appearances.
The £28 million summer signing’s mediocre form has coincided with the absence of 20-year-old midfielder Barkley, who has yet to make an appearance this season.
The England international damaged knee ligaments in training just before the start of the season, but he is likely to return to match fitness before the end of this month.
Martinez believes that once Barkley recovers and is back in full flow, he could bring the best out of Lukaku.
‘For Ross that responsibility always comes on top’, the Spaniard told The Liverpool Echo. ‘I still believe we will see a better Romelu Lukaku than we saw last season.
‘He developed a really good understanding with Ross, someone who can drive forward with the ball and open up space for the strikers. He needs to be patient though. He wants to get there very quickly but we need to give him the right time’.
Barkley enjoyed a breakthrough season for Everton in 2013-14 and was a key player in the Toffees finishing fifth in the Premier League.
The 20-year-old scored six goals and created 25 chances in the league last season, while having a laudable pass accuracy of 85%.