Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson backs Everton sensation Ross Barkley to emulate these Italian football icons

Ross Barkley

Merse thinks Barkley can be like Salvatore Schillaci or Paolo Rossi for England this summer.

After threatening to do so for a number of seasons this term has finally been the campaign that Everton talent Ross Barkley has come out of shell and proven his talent.

He has been in electric form from the start of the campaign and has been consistent throughout.

His 14 goals in all competitions this season is a season best and his recent form has been incredible - with five goals in his last seven games.

Such form is not going unnoticed and he is a certainty for the England squad for this summer's European Championships in France.

One Sky Sports pundit believes he might end up being the breakout star of the competition.

Speaking to Gillette Soccer Saturday on Sky Sports News HQ at the weekend (27/02/2016) former Arsenal and England star Paul Merson had this to say about the Everton star:

"I am a big fan of this kid. You look back over all the years, there is always someone out the blue (at international tournaments).

"It might be a (Salvatore) Schillaci, a Paolo Rossi, there is always someone who comes from nowhere. For me, I think this (Ross Barkley) is the boy. I think he is that good, I really do."

That is big praise indeed.

Salvatore Schillaci emerged, seemingly from nowhere, to help Italy to third-place at the 1990 World Cup. Rossi on the other hand was the hero who nearly single-handedly dragged Italy to triumph at the 1982 World Cup.

Plenty of top talents have emerged on the world stage at international tournaments. Wayne Rooney, a fellow graduate at Everton's Finch Farm would be another prime example.

If Barkley could emulate the international tournament breakthrough that Rooney once had at a European Championships then England and Everton should have an exciting summer on their hands.

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