The 28-year-old came through the youth ranks at Goodison Park and went on to rack up 179 appearances for the club before leaving in January 2018, when he a £15m move to Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, who were then the reigning Premier League champions.
However, he appears to be well down the pecking order under Thomas Tuchel, making just 14 appearances (and one top-flight start) last season.
According to Hughes for The Mirror, ‘sources’ have revealed that Chelsea are ‘looking to get rid’ of Barkley ahead of the new season.
Deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge, the midfielder has been offered to two of his former clubs in Everton and Aston Villa.
Hughes suspects that a return to Goodison Park ‘is the more viable option’ for 28-year-old, particularly with Lampard in need of creativity.
Would Everton fans welcome Barkley back to Merseyside?
As Hughes notes, there is ‘bad blood’ between the player and Toffees supporters after he ran down his contract to its final six months and left for a cut-price fee.
Barkley has since been booed upon returning to his old stomping ground, so that relationship would need to be repaired if he were to re-join Everton.
What about Barkley as a player, though? He has played 231 games in the English top flight, scoring 29 goals and providing 31 assists. Also, he has been capped 33 times by his country, although the last of those came in the autumn of 2019.
Frank Lampard oversaw Barkley during his time at Chelsea manager and spoke in glowing terms about the player’s ‘quality’ and also his ‘first-class’ attitude, saying that the midfielder carried out a ‘very complete’ role for that particular Blues team.
Perhaps Lampard has faith that he can unlock Barkley’s best form and help the 28-year-old make amends for the circumstances of his departure from Goodison Park four-and-a-half years ago.
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