Speaking to talkSPORT, Ray Houghton has shared his thoughts of Ross Barkley, claiming that the young playmaker is still growing on a much-needed learning curve.
Houghton said: “A year or so ago I questioned him. Even [v Bournemouth] there were times when he lost the ball in areas, and I was thinking ‘no, you can’t do that, you can’t lose the ball there’. But he’s still learning his trade, and the manager will back him to learn in games like this. But he’ll produce moments of magic, and he’ll become better the more games he plays.”
Whilst Houghton said that Barkley has improved from last year, he admitted that he still sees errors in the young midfielder.
Barkley, 22, was impressive in Everton’s FA Cup win over Bournemouth, but at times he put his own side under pressure, and Houghton wants to see Barkley remove this area from his game.
However, at his young age, these errors are to be expected, and the hope is that Barkley will develop over the coming months and years to remove this aspect of his game.
He is an extremely talented prospect, but is still nowhere near a finished product, and the expectations on Barkley need to be reduced so he can grow into the player many believe he will become over time.
Thankfully for Barkley, he is playing in a team which utilises his skills, and is playing under a manager who wants to develop his young players into attacking stars.
Everything is set up at Goodison Park for Barkley to reach his potential, and it just has to be remembered right now that the youngster still needs to grow to become a superstar.