Well, the Ross Barkley saga has come to an end for now after he turned Chelsea down but where does his future lie? Will he be at Everton in January? Will he be reintegrated into the squad? Or will he rot away in the under 23s until his contract runs out at the end of the season?
Why would he turn down Chelsea?
It looked like the England international would be on the move in the closing hours of the transfer window after the Merseyside club accepted a bid in the region of £30-35 million. But it was later reported that amid medical with Chelsea, he changed his mind and decided that the move was not for him.
However, a source close to Barkley denied the reports of Chelsea medical saying that the player is not fully fit, so he had no option but to turn down the transfer offer. In such a scenario, the decision makes sense as he would have no impact at his would-be new side until December.
How will he fit back in at Everton?
This will be a difficult time for Ross Barkley because he already made his intentions clear from the start of the transfer window and will have fully expected that he would be playing his football away from Goodison Park. Some of the players in the squad will welcome him back with open arms, but some will be wary that they have a player in their ranks who wants away from the club.
However, he does have a new teammate who has been through this situation twice before. Wayne Rooney handed in two transfer requests while at Manchester United and still stayed with the 20-time league champions on both occasions. Barkley will need to seek the former England captain’s advice when he returns to the fold on the best way to resolve the problem he has encountered.
Will this improve his England chances?
When he burst onto the scene for Everton, he was proclaimed as the new Paul Gascoigne and England’s would-be saviour. However, despite promising performances for his club he has never really found his feet on the international stage. He is usually selected in the squad but rarely features for the national side.
It is unlikely that his international chances will improve now he is staying put, and his club prospects may struggle due to signings made by Ronald Koeman. With the introduction of Davy Klassen, Nikola Vlasic, Wayne Rooney and club record signing Gylfi Sigurdsson he will find first team football restricted.
Will he still be at Everton in January or the end of the season?
As stated earlier, a source close to Barkley said that he did not want to move to Chelsea while he was injured. This could mean he is still open to a move in January to help further his career. It is believed that the 23-year-old would prefer a move to Tottenham, but he could once again find first team football restricted.
Even if he does move from the blue side of Liverpool in January, he will be lacking first team football and will not be fully fit to walk into a side. The torn hamstring he suffered 3 months ago deterred a bid from Spurs, but they could be interested in the next transfer window.
Only time will tell for Barkley, but with 2018 being a World Cup year, he will have to make the correct move if he wants to be on the plane to Russia.