By Amir Mir

Ronald Koeman has urged Ross Barkley to improve after he was substituted at half-time during Everton’s 3-0 win at Sunderland on Monday night.

The Toffees manager also revealed that he held showdown talks with the attacking midfielder this week about improving certain aspects of his game.

The 22-year-old was taken off at half-time at the Stadium of Light with the score at 0-0, before striker Romelu Lukaku netted an 11-minute hat-trick to help his side ease to victory against David Moyes’ side.

Koeman stated that he was unhappy that someone of Barkley’s ability was constantly losing balls, therefore he had no alternative but to sub him.

“There was a reason to change Ross at half-time because he did not play well, he lost many balls and players of that quality can’t lose those kinds of balls,” said Koeman as quoted by the Guardian. “We analysed the game as always and had individual talks. I had them with Ross and he needs to improve and, OK, we will see at the weekend.”

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Barkley was recently left out of England manager Sam Allardyce’s first squad, despite the midfielder being part of the national team which took part in the 2016 European Championships.

The midfielder has started four games in the league for his club manager this season scoring one goal and providing one assist.

The Merseyside club currently sit in third place having picked up ten points from a possible 12, as they welcome Middlesbrough to Goodison Park on Saturday evening.

In other Everton team news, Paul Merson picks out two key Toffees players in the lead up to the Middlesbrough clash.