By Will Butcher

Danny Higginbotham is convinced Everton’s Ross Barkley would benefit from playing in a deeper midfield role against Hull on Friday night.

Barkley, 23, has struggled to find the form that he is capable of this season, which has seen the Telegraph claim that a January move to could be on the cards.

Replying to fellow Sky pundit Gary Neville on his personal Twitter account, Higginbotham called for Ronald Koeman to give Barkley a “deeper role” against Hull.

Koeman has opted to use a 4-2-3-1 system this season, with Barkley occupying either a central playmaking role or out wide in attacking midfield.

However, a deeper role as Higginbotham suggests, would see the 22-time England international drop back into one of the two central midfield slots.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

The likes of Gareth Barry, Idrissa Gueye, Tom Cleverley and James McCarthy have occupied the defensive midfield slots in front of the defence this season.

But with Ireland international McCarthy sidelined through injury, Everton’s number eight could be given a chance in the deeper role as the Toffees look to secure three points at Hull.

An eighth Premier League win of the season would see Barkley and the rest of his side move to within just four points of sixth placed Man United, with Mourinho’s side set to take to the field on Saturday against Middlesbrough.

In other Everton team news, here is the best possible side to face Mike Phelan’s Hull.