Former Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie Redknapp has been singing the praises of Ross Barkley on Skysports.com.
Everton youngster Barkley is one of the most talented young players in the Premier League and has been part of the England senior team since 2013.
The 21-year-old has scored two goals and created 22 chances in 21 Premier League appearances so far this season, while having a pass accuracy of 89% and winning 52 of the 98 dribbles he has attempted.
Last season Barkley scored six goals and created 25 chances in 34 league matches, while having a pass accuracy of 85% and winning 80 of the attempted 128 dribbles.
The youngster’s form has dipped in recent weeks, but Redknapp remains a fan of the Everton star and backs him to eventually return to his high standards, making a big statement about his talent in the process.
“He’s the most talented midfield player in the country as far as I’m concerned but – just like Kane will – he’s gone through a bit of a dip this season,” the 41-year-old wrote on Skysports.com.
“He’s not become a bad player but he’s had a difficult time recently and even been left out of Everton’s side. I’ve found it frustrating watching Barkley at times this season.
“Sometimes, when you want him to take the game by the scruff of the neck, he takes the easy option and gives the ball to a player who hasn’t got the same quality he has. That lack of confidence or belief can affect all players, though. He’ll come back.”
Barkley is just 21 years of age and is still developing, and he needs to be given time and afforded patience.
The Everton youngster is still learning, and mistakes such as misplacing a pass or taking the easier option will happen.
What is important for Barkley is that he continues to work on the areas that he is not great at and always tries to better himself.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez has shown in the past how good he is at nurturing young players, and one suspects that Barkley will only get better under the Spaniard.