Redknapp: Everton 23-year-old must improve next season
By Derek Smithson
Jamie Redknapp believes that Everton midfielder Ross Barkley needs to sort himself out next season and force his way back into the England squad.
The 23-year-old has not played for the national side since May 2016 and was omitted from Gareth Southgate’s most recent squad.
The Toffees ace has endured a mixed couple of seasons and has been unable to match the huge expectation surrounding him.
He made 39 appearances across all competitions last season for the Merseyside club, scoring six goals and supplying nine assists in return.
Redknapp believes that Barkley is already good enough to be in England squad, but feels he must improve his performances for Everton and fulfil his potential.
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“We [England] haven’t got that pool of players, there’s not many in midfield,” Redknapp told Sky Sports. “Maybe I look at Ross Barkley, who must be at home thinking ‘surely I can get in that squad or maybe in that team?’ Obviously he plays where Dele Alli plays and Alli is a better player, but he should be in that squad with his quality.
“He needs to find a way of getting himself right next year because we haven’t got that many midfield players that can come in and make that difference, real quality footballers.”
Barkley has slipped behind Tottenham playmaker Dele Alli during the past couple of years, despite the pair both being considered talented youngsters in English football.
Everton’s attacking midfielder linked up well with club teammate Romelu Lukaku last season, but was still criticised by his own fans throughout parts of the year.
He is still searching for consistency in his game and it’s unclear whether he will still be at Goodison Park next season due to his contract expiring in 12 months time.
In other Everton news, Tony Bellew has revealed what he would do if the club sell their 24-year-old attacker.