Roberto Martinez has said in the Liverpool Echo that he sees Ross Barkley becoming a deep-lying playmaker over the course of the next few years.
The England international has been brought through the ranks at Goodison Park as a forward-thinking midfielder who looks to provide support to the strikers.
He has shown himself to be capable of scoring spectacular goals and producing driving runs that push opponents back and open up space for teammates.
Martinez is, however, of the opinion that the 21-year-old is destined to drop back in the future.
He feels Barkley’s full potential will be unlocked when operating in front of the back four, allowing him to control proceedings from the middle of the park and dictate the play.
Martinez said in the Liverpool Echo: “At the moment, he has a very good understanding with Rom (Lukaku) in that forward phase. But you’re talking about a young man.
“At 25, 26, I expect Ross to play deeper, in front of the back four and use his physicality to be a box-to-box midfielder and someone who can have a big effect on games.
“Now he can play a bit higher up the pitch and we want to use his quality in front of goal.
“The strike against QPR is something he can produce in every game and we need that at the moment. That’s why we want him higher up the pitch. But overall, he is such a complete midfielder, but he still has a long way to go.”
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His ability to make things happen has ensured that he is one of the first names on the team sheet, with Everton always looking for a creative spark.
The Opta statistics above show how important he is in that department, with Barkley always looking to get on the ball and offer something different in the final third of the field.