Both Roberto Martinez and Leighton Baines has offered their backing to Everton midfielder Ross Barkley this week, after a difficult spell in recent weeks.
Firstly, it was Martinez, who maintained that Barkley should make the England World Cup squad this summer. “I always feel that Ross brings something so different to the England camp because of the uniqueness of his talent,” said Martinez.
“If you ask me about him being a young player and he has only been in the Premier League for a short time, that would never concern me.
“He can play the occasion and is ready to play at the highest level.
“Is he ready to give something back to the England squad? The answer is yes.
“My answer is that Ross is ready to fulfil his potential. He is quite unique in what he brings to the game.”
It was then Baines that insisted that time and patience must be given to the exciting midfielder. “I didn’t have the same sort of trajectory as what Ross has had,” Baines told Sky Sports News. “Mine was a steady growth really and didn’t miss out too many steps on the ladder.
“Ross has burst onto the scene and the spotlight was thrust upon him straight away. He is a top player and a top talent for the country.
“We sometimes have a tendency to do that with young players. I think that it is important that we sometimes give them a bit of time and leeway to develop.
“You don’t have the consistency levels sometimes in your late teens and early 20s, you are still a really young player. You just need to give them time to develop.
“That is what the manager is doing with Ross. He gets runs of games and then comes out of the side sometimes, not always because of performance but because it is the right time for him and his development.”
Although this is regular ‘must be done’ media, it will surely be a boost to Barkley who looks like a massive confidence player. Having the backing of the manager and one of the top players in the squad can only help him look forward to returning to full fitness and form, and firing for that World Cup place that he will so desperately desire.