Why Everton’s Ross Barkley is wrong about his best position

Ross Barkley

Despite playing as an attacking midfielder, Ross Barkley believes he is best in a different position.

Speaking to the Mirror, 21-year-old Everton star Barkley revealed that his best position is not as a midfielder, but as a striker.

“I’m a striker,” he said. “I can have the greatest impact there. I’m free to roam around, take players on, have shots and create chances.”

It is a strange view to take for the youngster, who has spent most of his career as an attacking midfielder, and even his reasons for playing as a striker make it sound as if he should be a number 10.

But what do the stats say?

  GoalsShots per GameConversion RateAssistsKey Passes per GameSuccessful Dribbles per GameAppearances
Ross Barkley 8 1.8 6.4% 1 0.8 2.1 68

As far as statistics go, Barkley does not even look like a good attacking midfielder, let alone a striker. In 68 appearances for the Toffees, the England international has scored just eight goals, and registered only one assist. That is a negative indictment of a player considered the next big thing in English football.

His shots per game stats are far too low to be considered a top natural striker, whilst he also fails to play even one key pass per game, and this is in a team who are naturally very attacking.

His dribbling stats read a bit better for a natural number 10, with 2.1 completed per game, but that is still far below the expected numbers when watching his game.

As far as his best position goes, Barkley is statically a much better attacking midfielder than striker, but he still is far from being a world beater. All the hype around him seems misplaced, and he clearly needs to improve if he intends to live up to his early promise.

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch