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Barkley not young any more, says Koeman

Manager’s pre-Burnley press conference

Manchester City v Everton - Premier League
 Ross Barkley looks on from the bench
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Everton manager Ronald Koeman had some things to say about Ross Barkley, and while not all complimentary, it did sound like the player was going to be back in the starting eleven this weekend at Burnley.

Barkley had been dropped from the starting lineup last weekend against Manchester City, with Tom Cleverley taking his spot in a midfield three. When asked about that, here’s what Koeman responded -

“In my opinion, it was the best lineup to have the best chance against Man City last week. His reaction was positive, he was okay, very disappointed. You need to be disappointed if you don’t start in a team.

“He’s doing well and training well, we played a little bit different than normally in pressing (against City), so I changed him, and did not start with him. It can be different at the weekend (against Burnley).”

Later on, he was asked if there was more patience required with Barkley -

“On one side I understand if I get questions about him, like Wayne Rooney if he is not playing at United, you can imagine you will get questions because he’s a quality player. You can’t compare Barkley with Rooney because of the difference in age.

“Barkley is so young? He is not, because he’s already played four years on the first team. He’s not a talent any more. That means you need to show that you are improving, and that is the belief that I have with the player.

“If I am not totally happy, or it is a tactical question, then he will not start. Still, I believe in his qualities, but maybe last week was a good wake up call for him.”

Is Koeman’s patience wearing thin with Barkley? Do you think he will be looking for another player in his mould during the January transfer window?