Chelsea’s Ross Barkley has been a game-changer since the return of English football, so much so that it’s believed he could be turning a corner.
Two years ago, Chelsea took a gamble on a a 24-year-old from Everton. A Liverpool lad, he was destined for greatness and although it was tough for the youngster to leave his childhood club, he made the move to the country’s capital with that career growth in mind.
Ross Barkley’s move to Chelsea was seen as a low-risk, high-reward purchase for the elite English club. The fee was just £15 million, so despite how his Blues career panned out, the club always had the option of turning Barkley for a profit in its back pocket. Just a few short months ago, it looked as if Chelsea was ready to cash in on the midfielder. However, after his best stretch of matches in a Blues kit and some encouraging words from his gaffer, is Barkley finally turning into the incredible talent many saw him becoming at Goodison Park?
Under Frank Lampard, Barkley has molded into the attacking threat he truly is. Barkley’s a legitimate goalscoring midfielder, just like his gaffer. Maurizio Sarri and Antonio Conte failed to find that side of him, leading to rumors to his exit. However, Lampard’s channeled the inner Evertonian in Barkley as the now-26-year-old shows glimpses of what he was many years ago.
If there’s a manager in Europe who knows anything about chance creation from the middle of the park, it’s Chelsea’s current manager. Maybe all Barkley needed was a coach who believed in him and who knew his style of play. Lampard doesn’t give a stuff about what the media or fans say about the seasoned veteran; there’s no doubting his talent and it seems as if he’s finally getting a chance to display it and utilize it in the right way.
In a few short months, the England international has turned into an impact player for the Blues. He scores important goals, creates chances in possession and works hard to meet Lampard’s pressing requirements when off the ball. Look no further than the Blues’ matches against Aston Villa and Leicester City to see examples of this unselfish, clutch play from Barkley lately.
He may not have the hype around him as some of his teammates— like Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic—do, but Barkley’s got the raw talent to compete with those stars. Through a tremendous work rate and attitude, the 26-year-old has finally broken into the Chelsea side on a game-by-game basis.
The Ross Barkley everyone saw at Everton was truly a special player. He’s in the middle of his best spell at Chelsea, but still has yet to reach that ceiling. Regardless, he looks to be trending towards that level, if he can stay healthy and remain on the pitch. If Lampard keeps pushing the midfielder, the Blues could have a diamond in the rough for the next few seasons.
If nothing else, Barkley has earned another year or two to prove himself at the highest level of English football. The last few months have shown fans that prime Barkley is in there somewhere; and Lampard is just beginning to scratch the surface of his stardom.