Ross Barkley is quickly becoming English football's forgotten man. Even seeing him in a Chelsea shirt feels odd, because it happens so irregularly.
Last night he got a rare start for Chelsea against his old Merseyside rivals Liverpool, in the Carabao Cup.
Barkley looked a shadow of his former self, and struggled to impose himself on the game in a positive manner.
When he was in possession he was hesitant, and lacked chemistry with his teammates.
Perhaps that's to be expected, with playing so infrequently, but this was a scenario Barkley should have expected when he signed for Chelsea, off the back of a lengthy injury lay-off.
Barkley was tipped as one of England's top stars when breaking through at Everton. Now 24, he faces a crucial couple of years to try and get back to playing regularly again.
Chelsea won at Anfield last night, and it was despite Barkley, not because of his impact.
He has a lot of work to do if he is going to get close to the England squad again.
Here is a look at how some Everton fans reacted on Twitter to seeing him in action...
That Ross Barkley is still not arsed about football.— C.R (@CR_1878) September 26, 2018
Swear if Ross Barkley had a brain he would be class.— Lewis Highton (@LewisHighton) September 26, 2018
Ross Barkley taking too many touches then playing a poor pass... I, for one, am shocked.— keith (@keith1878) September 26, 2018
Ross Barkley still frustrating as ever I see— Simon J Villiers (@sjv_simon) September 26, 2018
Ross Barkley is disgustingly bad— Sean (@sozmarra) September 26, 2018
See ross barkley has made no improvement whatsoever, no footballing brain.— Paul Bruns (@BrunsypPB) September 26, 2018
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