Gareth Barry backs Everton's Ross Barkley to become the next Steven Gerrard

The Premier League veteran feels his young accomplice has the potential to match the former England captain.

After an inconsistent season last time out looked to be threatening Ross Barkley's immediate development, the England international has rebounded in sensational fashion in 2015/16 so far.

The Everton academy graduate has been an integral part of the club's respectable start to the new Premier League campaign and, inevitably, the plaudits are now starting to ring in for the youngster once more.

Midfield partner Gareth Barry is the latest figure to praise Barkley, insisting that he can reach the level of former Premier League greats such as Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.

“Ross has got all the potential to become as good as Frank (Lampard) and Steven (Gerrard)," Barry told the Express. "He's got everything that they had, to match their ability.

"The one thing he's going to need is consistency: performing, scoring goals, assisting on a regular basis. Frank and Steven did that for 10, 12 years in the Premier League, so that's the target for Ross."

  Goal AssistGoalsWon ContestAccurate PassTouchesAppearancesMins Played
Ross Barkley 3 2 16 233 406 6 539

The 21-year-old has been impressive in all facets of his play so far, but to live up to his teammate's estimations, he'll have to make sure he maintains his level of performance into and beyond the Christmas period, in order to give himself the platform he needs to kick on.

Barkley has shown regular flashes of his ability in previous seasons, however, gaining that sturdy platform by which he can launch a career to rival that of Gerrard is still something he's looking for.

If the current season can be that year, there may be some exciting times for him and his boyhood club on the horizon.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch