In 2014, after signing a new contract with his boyhood club, Ross Barkley declared, “It is my dream to play for Everton. This is the club I love and I see it as home.” Just three years later is seems he is ready to leave with his manager, Ronald Koeman, declaring that he was 100% sure that Barkley will not be in an Everton shirt next season and that he is seeking a new challenge.
It is a blow for Everton, despite his inconsistency, Barkley is a very good player with bags of potential and with a connection to the club. They seem to be a club on the up but Barkley clearly feels that he needs to move on. Unfortunately, it also means losing one of the Premier Leagues best chants, ‘Ross Barkley is a diamond’ which if you haven’t heard you can find here.
Of course, with this being silly season, he has already been linked to a number of clubs with The Guardian suggesting that Manchester United and Tottenham are considering a bid for him. It is no surprise to see a young England international linked to these sides, but in my opinion, I feel that both for the player and the club, Spurs would be the best destination for the Everton man. I think there are three key reasons why Spurs should look to a player former Everton boss Roberto Martinez once described as, “the best English talent I have seen.”
Barkley’s stats show him to be a talented player:
Barkley has seemingly acquired a reputation as a poor decision maker. His manager was often critical of him saying that “He needs to be more clinical and have more creativity in the offensive part of the team.” He often insinuated that Barkley needed to take more responsibility in his development. However, in the recently concluded season, he appeared to be making fewer rash decisions and able to create more for his team mates.
His attempted dribbles went down as did his attempted shots from outside the box, while his chances created went up, in fact, he created the most chances of any under-23 player in Europe’s top five leagues, according to Squawka. This suggests that Barkley is more willing to look for teammates and is finding them in good positions with more regularity. Often Spurs struggled to kill off teams and with Barkley helping to create chances for Kane perhaps Spurs can eliminate that issue.
Pochettino is excellent at polishing rough diamonds
In Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham have one of the world’s best managers and one of his greatest skills is his ability to take players with raw talent and polish them into genuine diamonds. Kane, Alli and Dier are just three of the players he has taken to a new level.
When Alli came from MK Dons he was seen as a supreme talent but one that needed a great deal of work and thought. Pochettino slowly introduced him into the team and moulded him into a superb and versatile player who can play as an attacking midfielder, a centre midfielder and even a second striker. Pochettino will know that Barkley has all the raw materials to be a top player and he is the manager to take him to the next level.
He will give Spurs much-needed strength in depth
Tottenham arguably have the best starting eleven in the Premier League. Despite losing Kyle Walker their regular starting eleven remains truly fantastic as illustrated by the fact they went unbeaten in all of their home games last season.
However, Tottenham lack depth and this was painfully exposed by their poor performance in the Champions League, Pochettino was unable to properly rotate and his signings Vincent Janssen and Moussa Sissoko failed to live up to expectations.
Barkley can play as both an attacking and box to box midfielder. He is more attacking than Eric Dier but has the ability to play slightly deeper than Alli, he is also better than any of the midfielders outside of Spurs’s starting eleven. Tottenham have a good deal of money to spend after selling Kyle Walker for around £50 million and they won’t regret it if they use some of that on Barkley.