According to recent reports, Everton have seemingly decided to sell English midfielder Ross Barkley, in order to fund the moves for their January window targets, Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin. The Toffees are looking for a fee in the region of £30 million for their academy product to generate necessary funds, to bring in the Manchester United duo at the Goodison Park in the upcoming window.
Ross Barkley, under the new management of Ronald Koeman, has struggled to break into the playing XI regularly in recent weeks. Koeman had come out earlier in the season and suggested that the 23-year old needs to improve his all-round game to support striker Romelu Lukaku with more goals, but it seems that the creative midfielder has struggled to meet the expectations of his manager.
Barkley has scored two times so far, this season for the Toffees, both the goals coming before November. He has created the most number of chances for Everton this season (37) but has only two assists to his name. While he has shown his creative ability and flair on the ball with a 62% success in his 26 dribble attempts, the 23-year old has struggled to make a key contribution to his side.
He started the Merseyside derby against Liverpool on Monday and performed dismally as Everton lost the game 0-1. He gave away possession too often and was extremely lucky to stay on the pitch after his reckless lunge on Jordan Henderson in the second half.
But despite his poor form recently, there are no doubts over his immense potential and exceptional talents. In what was a very poor season on various fronts for Everton last term, Barkley shone the most. The Englishman scored 8 times and assisted a further 8 goals for the Toffees despite them finishing in the eleventh place. Barkley was outscored only by Romelu Lukaku (18 goals), whereas he had the most number of assists and chances created in what would prove to be Roberto Martinez’s last season as the Everton manager.
At such a young age, he has been compared to legends of the game like Paul Gascoigne, Michael Ballack and Wayne Rooney. A player with great pace and intelligence combined with excellent technical abilities, Barkley could be an asset for any team he plays. So, if the opportunity presents itself, should Manchester United make a move for the Evertonian and involve him as a part of the negotiations for Depay or Schneiderlin?
Definitely. United will be provided with a wonderful opportunity to sign one of the most promising English players if the reports of Everton looking to sell him are true and the Red Devils should not miss out on the chance. At 23, Barkley still has his best years ahead of him and could develop into one of the most devastating No.10s of the game.
Jose Mourinho had utilized Paul Pogba and Rooney as his No.10 earlier in the season and both did not reap much rewards for United playing behind Zlatan Ibrahimović. While the Mancunians do have Juan Mata in their ranks, Barkley could bring much more to the table with his pace and trickery on the ball.
United may have changed their shape in recent weeks with Jose looking to play a 4-1-4-1 formation, which has gotten them success, but with Barkley, they will have a much better option to play in Mourinho’s favoured 4-2-3-1 setup which could turn out be an effective plan B going forward in the season. And keeping in mind the advancing age of Rooney, the Red Devils could do with the 23-year old who will bring the same dynamism and energy that made ‘Wazza’ an instant hit with the Old Trafford faithful.
Despite an average start to the season, there is no doubt that Barkley’s stock will continue to rise and his transfer value will only increase from here. United, though, have a great chance now with Everton wanting two of their players, who have hardly featured this term and if they manage to strike a deal with the Merseysiders to bring in Barkley for Depay or Schneiderlin, it will be no short of a coup.