Five Chelsea players were called by Gareth Southgate for England’s two games this international break, but that total has been reduced to just four, with Ross Barkley getting sent home with an undisclosed (though probably ankle) injury on Sunday.
Given that Barkley had not featured for Chelsea since the 1-0 win over Newcastle in mid-October, missing the last six games in a row in all competitions without even making a matchday squad, it was a bit surprising that he was even included in Southgate’s selection.
Either way, it would appear that the injury is still bad enough to force Barkley to miss time. Initially termed a “nasty” ankle injury, the problem has lived up to its billing, forcing the 25-year-old out of the squad rotation.
Prior to his injury, Barkley had been a regular part of Lampard’s tactical plans, especially in the league, where he featured in 6 of the first 9 games of the season.
Barkley may not be a first-choice player these days at either central midfield or attacking midfield, but he could yet play an important role in the busy festive and winter schedule ahead.