Chelsea have been eager to sign Everton’s star, Ross Barkley, for a considerable period of time and were very close to luring him to the Stamford Bridge in the summer. Both the clubs were perceived to have agreed on a transfer fee of £35million, but the deal failed to cross the line owing to Barkley’s hamstring injury.
However, the London based outfit have moved swiftly this time around and five days into the January transfer window have wrapped up the signing of the robust English midfielder. In a press release, Chelsea have announced that Ross Barkley joins them on a five-and-a-half-year contract and will wear the number 8 shirt.
He sounded enthusiastic after the move and said:
‘To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea, it’s unbelievable for me. I’m looking forward to continuing where I left off at the end of last season and hoping to improve and add more goals to my game.’
Barkley has been sidelined for quite a while due to injury and has not featured so far this season. However, despite not having played this term, he is still the highest creator of goal-scoring chances for Everton since August 2016. He has indeed made a galvanizing impact at his boyhood club and no wonder why Chelsea have perennially been interested in signing him.
The English international might divide opinion amongst the football fraternity but his calibre certainly can just not be doubted. He is an excellent reader of the game who knits the side together with his meticulous passes from the middle and makes incisive galloping runs forward whenever the situation permits him to do so. Further, he creates ample amount of chances for his teammates and showcases immense stamina and work-ethic.
Besides, Barkley is a dangerous commodity once he finds himself in the final third, shooting the ball fiercely and is quite clinical as well. He is someone who has developed slowly but surely and given his age, he is only likely to prosper in the coming seasons. However, he has been criticized a lot of times for losing the ball in the tight areas and for his inconsistency.
Chelsea have a plethora of stars to cater to their midfield needs but the quality of their arsenal will certainly get enhanced once Barkley gets up to speed. At this stroke of the hour, it is evident that Manchester City are running away with the Premier League title and thus, to at least give a tough fight to Pep Guardiola’s troops and to cement their place inside the top-four, they certainly need Barkley to get match fit and add something special to the already formidable squad at Stamford Bridge.
Stat Courtesy: Whoscored