Ross Barkley has spent basically his entire life at Everton. The 24-year-old was born on Merseyside, joined the Toffees at age 11, worked his way up through the ranks as one of their best prospects in history, and became a star before he had even turned 20. An England call-up and a spot in the 2014 World Cup team were not far behind.
While he’s not been bad, per se, since bursting onto the scene, Barkley has spent most of the past four years trying to live up to that early promise. Untimely injuries, such as the one that delayed his transfer to Chelsea for half a season, inconsistencies, and perhaps even a bit of complacency have plagued his career. Now out of the confines and comfort of Goodison Park, Barkley is eager and ready to prove his worth and shatter expectations at Chelsea.
“I am obsessed with improving. I want to get to a level where I am regarded as one of the best and coming to a club like Chelsea gives me the right platform to improve.”
”I want to be regarded as a world-class midfielder. At the moment I have a lot of potential and a lot of world-class attributes and I want to showcase that at a massive club like Chelsea, and win things and be regarded as a top-quality player.”
”I am ready to hit the ground running. The first half of the season dragged for me, I just wanted to kick a ball, but I am back fit and I am ready to go.”
One surefire way to improve is to play with players better than you. There are few better than Eden Hazard, and Barkley’s certainly looking forward to learning from the man three years his senior.
”I have got to a level where I feel I needed to make the jump to Chelsea and push myself, and get myself to a better level. And playing with world-class players here is only going to help.”
”You can’t put many players up there with Hazard, he is unbelievable. He is up there with the best in the world. I have been training here for a couple of weeks and you can see how sharp he is.”
”I am not the same type of player, but if I could get anywhere near his level now I would be made up.”
After completing 70 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Queen’s Park Rangers’ reserves last week, Barkley was set for a debut (albeit only as a substitute) against Brighton over the weekend. The opportunity did not come for him that day, but it may come tomorrow instead, in the encounter with Arsenal for the second leg of the League Cup’s semifinals.
”It was a good run-out. I have settled in really well with all the lads. It was my first game for a while since I have been out injured, and it felt good to get back out onto the pitch.”
”I have had four full weeks of training now so I am feeling really fit. I feel really good and am ready to go.”
-Ross Barkley; Source: Sky Sports
So say we all!