Interest Grows In £10m Starlet Barkley

By on September 7, 2011

When a young footballer with obvious talent breaks into the first team of a Premier League side who are not one of the teams challenging for Champions League football, the rumours begin instantly, like the flick of a switch. When the player in question is English, it hots up even further, and despite the summer transfer window only recently having closed, the speculation has begun to build already in anticipation for January.

This time it concerns the 17 year-old Liverpudlian, Ross Barkley, who has just made his way into the Everton first team this season, having played twice in the Premier League, including his début against Queens Park Rangers in which he was named by some as the man of the match.

He has also appeared for England’s Under-16, Under-17 and Under-19 sides, and most recently earned a call up to the Under-21 squad. He impressed at all levels, with some commanding midfield performances, showing his mature and composed passing ability and vision, and because of this, has been watched closely by several scouts representing some big Premier League sides including Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.

Barkley is very highly rated by the few who have seen him play, with many tipping him for a very bright and successful future. The former Arsenal defender Martin Keown, commented that Barkley: “[will] be one of the best players we’ll ever see in this country.” While current Everton stars and former United players Louis Saha and Phil Neville said respectively:

“He’s got power, strength, confidence [and] speed,” and “There’s nothing flash or fancy about him, he’s not interested in getting a big car or flash clothes, and he is so humble.”

In the last few days links have been growing between the youngster and Manchester United, who, according to some reports, attempted to bring Barkley to Old Trafford during the summer window with the offer of cash, thought to be £10 million and 23 year-old United midfielder, Darron Gibson. This “deal” of course did not materialise, but now United are apparently looking towards the January market to snap up the fantastic prospect before any other club does.

On the Everton website, Barkley describes his strengths as “heading, tackling and passing,” and saying, prior to his move to Arsenal, that Mikel Arteta was his favourite first team player. He seems a rather grounded young lad, and this speculation will only serve to increase the expectation around him, something which Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney will know about having been in an extremely similar position at the same age with Everton.

United are supposedly the favourites if the debt laden Everton do decide that they must sell their young starlet, due to the relationship between David Moyes of Everton and Sir Alex Ferguson of United. The two clubs have done business before, with Everton usually profiting well from it, particularly the £30 million they raked in from the sale of Wayne Rooney

Sir Alex is of course thought to be in the market for a central midfielder having missed out on several targets over the summer, but Everton will be hugely reluctant to let Barkley go considering the afore mentioned departure of Mikel Arteta to Arsenal, as well as the general thinness of the Toffees squad.

Time will tell whether this interest is true or false, but Everton fans will be hoping and praying it is the latter, as the state of the club is looking increasingly unconvincing.

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