In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.
Chelsea signed Ross Barkley from Everton for £15million in January 2018 (BBC) in a deal the midfielder saw as a ‘fresh start’ after spending the final seven months of his 13 years at Goodison Park out with a hamstring injury.
The 31-cap England international may now be worth close to double the fee paid 21 months ago. with TransferMarkt valuing the Liverpool-born creator at £27m, but Chelsea are yet to truly see their investment pay dividends and it could be argued that Barkley has benefited from his side’s transfer ban more so than most.
Players like Fikayo Tomori, Tammy Abraham and Mason Mount are leading contenders for those to have benefitted most from Chelsea being unable to sign anyone in the summer, yet Barkley has hardly shown the talent needed to justify his continued selection most weeks by Frank Lampard.
Barkley found a more regular role for himself at Stamford Bridge upon the arrival of Maurizio Sarri last season, as the now-Juventus coach awarded the 25-year-old 13 Premier League starts and 14 outings from the bench after his predecessor Antonio Conte only called on the Everton product twice in the top flight (WhoScored).
Lampard has maintained Sarri’s faith with four starts, but his trust in the midfielder would have been diminished slightly when Barkley entered the action against Valencia CF from the bench and denied Willian the responsibility of taking a penalty, only to blaze it over the bar and hand his head coach his first Champions League defeat in what was his first game in the competition as a manager.
The Stamford Bridge natives have not been able to rely on Barkley delivering in the top flight, either, as his only big goal for the Blues came in stoppage time against Manchester United last October, when he struck a late equaliser.
Barkley followed his goal against the Red Devils with a third in three games by scoring against Burnley, but has not found the back of the net since that October afternoon at Turf Moor outside of a Europa League knockout stage match against Malmo FF in February. (TransferMarkt)
At Everton, Barkley made a name for himself as a goalscoring and creative midfielder fresh from the Toffees’ academy and willing to challenge opposition defences, with the 2015/16 campaign particularly fruitful with eight goals and eight assists in the league.
At Chelsea, though, his creativity has not been evident, and that was reflected heavily in the 2010 European under-17 champion only averaging a key pass every 56.5 minutes in the Premier League last season, whereas he penned one every 34.6 minutes in what proved to be his final full term at Goodison Park. (WhoScored)
Mount, meanwhile, is achieving a better key pass rate in the top flight this term than Barkley, and Lampard has moved Jorginho ahead of the former Everton man in his penalty pecking order (talkSPORT) after the Italian fired home from the spot against Brighton & Hove Albion.
There is every reason, then, to feel Lampard may have looked to improve his core in the transfer market if the option was there, and may explore that once it is.
Chelsea fans, is there still potential left to untap in Barkley or has he reached his ceiling? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more Chelsea notifications!
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