With Phil Neville injured along with Darron Gibson David Moyes found himself desperately short of midfield options. He has recalled young prodigy Ross Barkley from a loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday where he was performing brilliantly on a regular basis. Can he carry that form into the Premier League?
Last month Ross Barkley was named player of the month for Yorkshire club Sheffield Wednesday. It came after what has been an impressive string of performances in the Championship as the teenager looks to impress David Moyes and earn a regular place in the squad at Everton once again.
Now he has been recalled by The Toffees, much to the disappointment of Owl’s fans, in order to help his parent club through a mini-injury crisis.
With Darron Gibson tentatively stepping up his recovery from a thigh problem Everton were dealt the blow that skipper Phil Neville would be out of action for anything up to two months after going underneath the knife on a damaged knee.
It seems Barkley was enjoying his time in The Championship as he made clear after picking up his October player of the month award a few weeks ago:
I've really enjoyed my time here so far. I feel as if I have made a lot of progress and that's the most important thing…I'm playing regular football at a good level in the Championship so I'm really pleased with how things are going…. I’m enjoying my football and the experience I'm getting with Sheffield Wednesday."
Barkley burst onto the scene at Goodison Park after recovering from a serious leg break in 2011 with a brilliant performance against QPR at the start of the Premier League season. It was performances such as this one that left former Toffee Martin Keown exclaiming that Barkley would ‘be one of the best players we’ll ever see in this country’. There is no doubt that the boy is talented but after his original promise against QPR his form dipped and Moyes decided he was not yet ready for Premier League football at such a tender age.
However his form at Wednesday will give everyone hope that the boy is becoming a man and can live up to his huge potential in an Everton shirt. It is clearly what the player wants himself:
‘’I'm taking things one step at a time and we will see what happens from here. I see my future in the long term with Everton’’
Everton fans are hoping the 18-year-old who has been in scintillating form can carry that level of performance up into the Premier League for now, and the future.
How big a help can Ross Barkley be to Everton’s season?
image: © Ben Sutherland