Speaking to the club’s website ahead of his team’s visit to Goodison Park this weekend, the midfielder was full of praise for the Everton starlet.
“I like Ross Barkley a lot," said Fernandinho. "He was unlucky not to play at the World Cup because of injury, because he’s a very good player and someone who has the capability of producing something out of nothing.”
The 21-year-old has struggled to hit the heights he achieved in his breakout year under Robert Martinez last season, during which he scored several wonder goals, with one against Manchester City being a particular highlight.
A knee injury on the eve of the new Premier League season meant he missed several months, with both his and Everton’s development being held back as a result. That has led to the youngster coming in for criticism from the stands as he works his way back to the kind of form that saw him earn a place in England’s World Cup squad. Fernandinho however, thinks the injury has made him better than ever before.
"I think he’s come back stronger after his knee operation because he looks physically more powerful and he has an explosive burst of pace – more than before – and with his technical ability, he reminds me of a very young Brazilian Ronaldo when he was at Barcelona.”
The champions travel to Everton looking to close on leaders Chelsea, and Fernandinho thinks his side will have to perform as well as they did in the 3-2 victory last year in order to stand any chance of leaving with all three points.
“I have only played at Goodison Park once but it was a very difficult game for us,” said Fernandinho. “I remember they started very well and scored a beautiful goal early on, but were in the middle of a fantastic run and we came back strongly to win the game.
“I know Everton have had a tough few months, but they have some very good players and I believe we will need to give the same level of performance as we did last season in order to come away with a victory.”