Merson suggests Everton star is key to England’s Euro hopes

Everton’s Ross Barkley has been tipped to make an impact this summer.

Former player Paul Merson believes England’s only hope of winning the European Championship depends on the form of Everton’s Ross Barkley and Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli, the Daily Star report.

The Three Lions arguably head in to a major tournament for the first time this side of the millennium without any real stand-out big-name players - a factor which could actually benefit the team.

But having said that, Merson is adamant that England’s only chances of winning depends on Barkley and Alli playing well, with the two players expected to provide the creativity in midfield.

“Surprise packages win tournaments. Alli and Barkley are like that. Yes teams will know all about them. But they won’t have played against them,” Merson wrote.

“If Alli and Barkley play well England have a chance at Euro 2016. If they don’t, I can’t see how we can win the tournament. So let them play now. See how they cope against the world champs and start the process.”

Barkley is enjoying his best season in an Everton shirt from an individual perspective, scoring eight Premier League goals and adding a further seven assists in 29 appearances.

The 22-year-old provides an abundance of drive and energy from midfield, running at defenders from deep and looking to play killer passes to forward runners in the final third.

The Toffees’ favourite has all the attributes needed to thrive on the biggest stage, yet getting him involved and striking a midfield balance will be just as key when considering England’s chances of success.

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