Koeman hints at Barkley role ahead of Everton clash v Burnley
By Dominic Toner
Everton manager Ronald Koeman has revealed that Ross Barkley could return to the side at the weekend.
The Toffees travel to Turf Moor on Saturday to face Burnley in the Premier League.
The Merseyside club earned an impressive 1-1 away draw at league leaders Manchester City in their last league match, with Barkley axed from the starting XI and an unused substitute.
Barkley, 22, has endured a steady start to the new season and scored two goals in his first nine appearances.
The attacking midfielder is without a goal since August and has been relatively quiet in an Everton team that are currently sixth-placed in the league table.
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Koeman has explained in his pre-match conference that Barkley’s recent omission was a tactical switch and has not ruled out his return against Burnley.
“In my opinion it was the best line up to have the best chance against Man City last week and his reaction was positive,” Koeman said, as quoted by Sky Sports. “He was okay, very disappointed but you need to be disappointed if you don’t start in the team.
“He is doing well and training well… I changed him and did not start with him and it can be different for the weekend.”
Barkley has been a consistent feature in the Everton team since breaking through the club’s academy, with many people labelling him as the next Wayne Rooney.
The midfielder has made 149 appearances for the Toffees, scoring 23 goals and supplying 20 assists.
He has made 22 senior appearances for England but has been absent from the international set-up since friendly matches in May.
Everton are just four points from the top of the Premier League and will want to continue the good form against Burnley under summer appointment Koeman.
In other Everton team news, Koeman has refused to budge on his decision of the club’s striker despite a stunning display.