Everton assistant manager Graeme Jones explained in the Liverpool Echo why Ross Barkley hasn’t had the impact he would have been hoping for over the past ten months.
Barkley is undoubtedly one of the most talented midfielders in England, but he struggled to produce his best form at times last season.
However, Jones has suggested it’s because of the fact he was used in a number of different positions by Roberto Martinez, due to circumstances in the Everton squad.
“He’s certainly got the right attitude and the right aptitude for the job but these people are human beings, they’re not machines,” he said.
“Ross has had to play as a holding midfield player. He’s had to play as a number eight in a midfield three and he’s played wide left this season.”
“The manager really assesses each game on its own merits.”
Barkley will be a key feature of Everton’s team next season and Martinez has a job this summer to improve the squad to a point where he doesn’t need to use his biggest talents out of position.
It is a positive that Barkley has that versatility in his locker, but he needs to be unleashed in his best role and allowed to focus on what he does well going forward.
It’s also important to point out that the Toffees will have fewer games to play next season, unlike European commitments last year, which should also help the manager to keep his key players fresh and ready for big games.
Barkley definitely has the potential to carry Everton’s midfield next season and could be the difference as the club chases a position in the top eight.