Chelsea

Exclusive: Ball doesn’t believe Barkley has developed as expected since Everton exit

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Former Everton defender Michael Ball doesn’t believe that Ross Barkley has developed into the player people thought he was going to become.

The 27-year-old, who is said to be on £96,000 a week, completed a move to Stamford Bridge in 2018 for a reported £15m and described the move as “unbelievable” and “a fresh start” [BBC Sport].

Since joining Chelsea Barkley has featured 89 times for the Blues, scoring eleven goals and providing a further eleven assists and has also had a loan spell at Villa where he made 24 appearances and scored three goals and registered one assist.

Ball doesn’t believe he has developed into the player most thought he would become when moving to Chelsea, telling This is Futbol: “I don’t think he’s developed into the player that he thinks he could be and also I think the majority of fans were expecting him to be as he broke through the Everton ranks.

“He seemed to have everything and his decision making in the final areas seem to let him down when he was at Everton and you just hoped that when he went to Chelsea, with the better players around him, better coaches, that he’d be able to up his game a little bit.”

Chelsea boss was full of praise for Barkley in the Blues’ recent victory against Southampton, telling the club’s official website after the game: “I’m also happy for Ross, who came on did what he had to do. He played a fantastic pass for Azpi in the build-up, he won some free-kicks, and he did well in an open game. He found some spaces, he plays with a good energy and his delivery was excellence.”

Despite only featuring three times so far this season, after recent praise from his could Barkley have played his way into the manager’s thinking and post international-break be starting games for Chelsea?

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