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Chris Sutton: Everton 23-year-old needs to knuckle down and prove himself

By Amir Mir

Chris Sutton has stated that Everton ace Ross Barkley is not performing well enough and he needs to “prove himself”.

The 23-year-old has come under fire a number of times this season from his club manager Ronald Koeman which has resulted in him being dropped from the starting XI.

Barkley, who has been on the bench for the last two league games, came on as a substitute during the 3-2 defeat at Watford on Saturday afternoon.

He could not do enough during his 25 minute cameo appearance to prevent his side from suffering a third defeat in five league fixtures.

Former Celtic striker Sutton explained what the boyhood Everton fan needs to do in order to improve his game.

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“Ronald Koeman is not going to go out and pick Ross Barkley if he is not performing well enough and he is not performing well enough” Sutton told the Monday Night Club on BBC Radio 5 Live.

“So he needs to improve his consistency. He has to prove himself. Ronald Koeman wants to win games of football and on that basis he will put his team out on a Saturday with which he sees are the best 11 players at that time.

“Barkley needs to knuckle down, and he has shown flashes of brilliance over the years, but not on a consistent level.”

Barkley has made 15 Premier League and EFL Cup appearances for the Toffees this term, scoring three goals and supplying one assist.

His inconsistent form during this campaign has seen him miss out on recent England squads, despite being part of the touring party which was humiliated at Euro 2016 during the summer.

Nonetheless, he has appeared on 22 occasions for his home country, scoring two goals and providing three assists.

Barkley will now prepare for two tough home fixtures on Goodison Park, with in-form Arsenal paying a visit on Tuesday night, before a highly-anticipated clash against their Merseyside rivals Liverpool on December 19.

Koeman’s side are currently ninth in the Premier League table on 20 points from 15 games, ten points behind Manchester City in fourth.

In other Everton news, Robbie Savage believes the Toffees should sign this Premier League player in January.