Chelsea have completed a first major January signing without wasting any time, and that alone deserves a bit of respect and acknowledgement. Usually, be that the summer or the winter transfer window, we wait until the final hours to get something done, and we’re not even a week into this one! Congrats to us!
A few days ago this was nothing but a speck of a rumor, but over the past 24 hours it escalated from a new bid, through intense negotiations, to an actual signing, which Chelsea announced today. Looking good, Ross!
That said, Chelsea signing Ross Barkley is unlikely to garner universal appreciation and applause. But for the moneys involved (just £15m, supposedly, which is absolutely nothing in today’s market), it’s a deal with very little downside and very reasonable financial commitment and plenty of potential benefit. Just a few years ago, Barkley was going to be the next big thing and even if he doesn’t live up to that billing, he’s worth a flier before he would’ve tested the free market this summer with his Everton contract expiring.
Chelsea were ready to sign him in August as the final piece of the summer transfer window puzzle, but Barkley had a change of heart at the final hour and returned back to Everton, who were already counting the near £30m Chelsea were willing to pay then. Now we get him at half-price.
The 24-year-old attacking midfielder is Merseyside born and bred and had been at Everton since age 8. Perhaps a long-overdue change of scenery will do him plenty of good and knock him back on track as far as his long-term development is concerned.
He had recently returned to training with Everton after missing the first-half of the season with groin and hamstring injuries, back-to-back. He will have to work extra-hard to get up to speed under Conte’s strict fitness demands.
Welcome, Ross Barkley. Let’s win some things.