Barkley has the potential to be one of the best players of his generation, and Ray Parlour has told talkSPORT why he was pleased that that the midfielder rejected the chance to leave Everton in the summer.
Parlour said: “It’s pleasing, really, that he stayed at Everton, because he’s playing regularly in a decent side, and you need game time. If he had gone to a bigger club, like a Manchester City or someone who were mentioned at the time, would he have played enough football with the like of Yaya Toure in midfield. Now he is playing on a regular basis.”
Barkley is a central figure in Everton’s first-team, and the amount of game time he is able to play is great for his development.
The youngster will always be present in Roberto Martinez’s matchday squads, and he is guaranteed to start the majority of games, meaning that Barkley has as many opportunities as possible to impress.
This would not have been the case had the number 10 moved to somewhere like Manchester City, which Parlour references as a potential destination. Considering his talents and homegrown status, City have been rumoured to be interested in Barkley for a number of months, but the midfielder decided to stay at Goodison Park.
However, he would struggle to break into their first-team considering the talents ahead of him, and Barkley's career could have gone the same way as the likes of Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair following their moves to the Etihad.
His decision has so far been rewarded this term, with Barkley putting in some of his best and most consistent displays of his career. He is still far from the finished product, but the youngster is far more likely to reach his potential playing for Everton than sitting on the bench at City.