We have heard sides for and against Ross Barkley staying at Everton for the 2017/18 season at least or being sold in this current window. We have compiled the best in a Two article series.
Mid way through last season (2016/17), the first murmurings began to surface of Ross Barkley contract talks taking place. It was pretty much ‘One of them’, most Evertonian’s admittedly thought at the start that it was a done thing and Ross would agree to the new contract offered.
However, as the season went on things went quiet, then steadily stale and finally frankly a little unsavoury as Ronald Koeman announced that Barkley would be sold if he refused to sign any further contract offers.
So, here we are, Two months further down the line and things have not become any clearer or any less amicable between both parties.
There are many, many pros to Ross Barkley remaining at Everton. The first, and in my opinion the most important, is that Barkley is indeed a boyhood Blue and as we famously sing is from Wavertree. A scouser. So little is made of a boyhood fan playing for his local side, but it has big importance with the mentality of new players and managers coming into their club. It’s the local lads job to show just exactly what it’s like to be an Evertonian. The passion, the desire, the hunger, the drive and the spirit to never give in. It all means something and is always noted in one way or another to new starters.
Another pro for Barkley continuing to olay his football at Goodison park is the improvement he has begun to make under Ronald Koeman in such a short space of time. Under Martinez, Barkley was greedy, but couldn’t accomplish much on the ball, which left him with a indecisive attitude going forward. There have been some very simply improvements from Barkley under Koeman, including his indecision, his passing and his runs off the ball, all of which relatively paid off for him last season. Some important stats from last season back that up:
Ross Barkley in the Premier league 2016/17 –
Most chances created – 84
Most take-on’s completed – 67
Most assists – 8
Further to Ross’ improving ability, the midfielder has arrived back at USM Finch Farm with a whole host of new faces. All the signings so far in this transfer window will add quality or serious competition to their respective positions.
In Barkley’s case Wayne Rooney and Davy Klaassen are now his most obvious and immediate competition for his place, depending on where Koeman see’s fit to play both of the new signings. Since Barkley made his break into the 1st team under Roberto Martinez, he has has little to no competition for his place and at the highest level of football that just isn’t healthy for the growth and attitude of a young player. Sometimes under our previous manager, Barkley appeared to be ‘undroppable’ with Martinez even moving Barkley to the left wing on occasions to accomodate him. In simple terms that will no longer be the case, Barkley has a huge opportunity however to take some valuable knowledge and skills from both Rooney and Klaassen – the introduction of such players can only be a bonus for a player like Barkley.
The final pro to Ross remaining in Everton Blue is the possibility of continued improvement under Koeman which inturn will put both Barkley and Everton in a more favourable position, in different ways, if this situation was to arise again. Say Barkley stays and starts the season. He grabs an assist in each of the first 5 matches and scores in Two. Instantly you’re looking at a more confident player. Then take into consideration that Barkley has yet to sign a new deal and you began to look more favourably at offering a contract closer to the request of the player, not giving in, but more rewarding his start to the season and making it clear he is wanted.
This situation admittedly is controlled by Everton rather than Barkley. However, the closer the end of the up and coming season gets the more pressure will be on the club to sign Ross onto a new contract to prevent him walking away on a free, leaving us empty handed.