Roberto Martinez defends Ross Barkley and talks transfers

Everton manager Roberto Martinez defends his young star amidst criticism from fans.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has spoken out about Ross Barkley’s current form for the struggling Blues.

The 21-year-old has so far failed to hit top gear in the Premier League this term following his breakout season under Martinez last year.

The youngster exploded onto the scene last season, scoring six goals in 34 league appearances, with wonder goals against Newcastle United, Swansea City and Manchester City. Those performances earned him a call-up to England’s World Cup squad for the tournament in Brazil last summer.

An injury at the beginning of the season hindered his start to the new campaign, with the attacking midfielder finding life more difficult in the Premier League this season. So far he has scored just one goal in 13 league appearances, with that goal coming in Everton’s win against QPR in December.

Manager Martinez has defended his starlet though, saying he has become a marked man by the opposition.

“Last year he was a young player enjoying his football, this year he is Ross Barkley, and that brings a completely different approach from the opposition,” said Martinez.

“What I will always admire about Ross is he never shies away from getting on the ball. He had a couple of situations against West Ham that he gave the ball away and quickly wanted to get it back - and that's what pleases me.” 

The Catalan has also spoken about potential new recruits in the January transfer window, stating he prefers to do his business in the summer window. However, he has previously admitted he may look for a long-term goalkeeper following an injury to first-choice 'keeper Tim Howard.

“I always said January is not a window that we look for solutions, it is a window of opportunities and we will always assess what’s around. If we can find anyone who can help our situation we will act quickly, but I wouldn’t say we are all relying on January as that would be a big gamble,” he said.

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