Ross Barkley has failed to live up the hype he created last season.
After scoring seven goals and registering three assists for the Toffees in 2013/14, 21-year-old Barkley was touted as England’s next big star. He won his first senior international cap in August 2013, and by the summer of 2014 was a part of the Three Lions World Cup squad. He currently has 10 caps to his name and has shown the type of raw talent that has seen him compared to Paul Gascoigne and Wayne Rooney.
However, he has failed to follow up his breakthrough year with another strong campaign, as his form and performances have dropped off during Everton’s poor season. He has just two goals and two assists in 26 appearances, and has been blamed for some of the attacking weaknesses shown by the Merseyside club.
It would come as no surprise to see him out of the international picture for the time being due to his current lack of form, and it is clear that he needs to return to the level he showed last season if he is to rebuild his reputation as a future England star.
And it appears as if Barkley is close to solving his own problem, having suggested the reason for his poor form when speaking to the Mirror.
“It has been a tough season for me,” the attacking midfielder said. “I am still learning and I am still a young lad. Because last season was my first full season in the PL then maybe no one really knew about me.
“Maybe this season they know part of my game and it is up to me to learn and adapt to that. If people think they know what I am going to do I have to come up with something different and have other options.”
Having highlighted the potential reason for his loss of form, it is now up to the youngster to overcome that problem and prove himself in the Premier League once again.