One hundred up for Ross Barkley - Time for him to become Everton's main man

Ross Barkley

Ross Barkley's appearance for Everton in their League Cup win over Reading was his 100th - and it is now time for him to fulfill potential.

Since bursting onto the scene under Roberto Martinez back in the 2013-2014 season, Barkley has endured mixed fortunes, with some hugely encouraging performances followed by disappointing displays.

Barkley enjoyed his best season for the Toffees in Martinez's debut campaign, but after heading to the World Cup as a fully fledged England international that summer, the attacking midfielder struggled to find form last term as the Toffees eventually laboured to a bottom-half finish.

The talent is there for all to see in Barkley. The youngster combines the frame of a tough tackling defensive midfielder, with the silky movement of a playmaker, and Everton fans regularly sing about having a "diamond" in their ranks in the form of the 21-year-old.

Barkley has made a impressive start to the campaign this term, with supporters hailing a player who is barely recognisible from the one who struggling to impose his ability around Goodison Park on a regular basis last season.

Much has always been expected of Barkley, and the general consensus is that he will eventually iron on the inconsistencies in his game and become one of the country's biggest stars.

Now is that time to do so.

Barkley is no longer a novice finding his feet in the royal blue. One hundred appearances for his boyhood club is proof of that alone, and the England international is 362 days older than Raheem Sterling - who of course moved to Manchester City for a eye-watering £49m in July.

The fact that Barkley plays under Martinez for appreciative fans who have always wanted 'one of their own' to succeed more than most means he will be afforded prolonged patience, but the challenge is now there for the Wavertree-born midfielder to maintain his consistency and develop in one of the leading lights for club and country.

Forget Romelu Lukaku, forget John Stones, when Barkley shines, he is Everton's main man, and now is the time to prove it.

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