Everton boss Ronald Koeman has admitted that midfielder Ross Barkley may not fulfill his potential, speaking in his pre-Boxing Day press conference.
The Evertonian has struggled in both recent management regimes bar possibly his best season in Blue back in the 2013/14 season in which the Toffees were close to qualifying for the Champions League.
Since Koeman has come into the club, he has taken a new approach with Ross than Roberto Martinez had. The straight-talking Dutchman has challenged Barkley to improve and said it publicly several times this season.
"Of course I think the player needs to improve.
“He needs to improve the tactical aspect of his football, out of his position, he needs to be more clinical and have more creativity in the offensive part of the team.
“But he is working hard on that and trying to get the best out of himself.”
When asked whether the midfielder could fulfill his immense potential, Koeman explained
“I am not sure, I am not sure.
"I had the same stories in Holland with players who, when they were 16 or 17, they were too good in the academy. They didn't really have competition but because they were stronger or they were a better player than the rest.
"But then they step up a level and everyone is strong, everybody is a good player, and still you need to make a difference. And that is more difficult."
Barkley may be given an opportunity to impress on boxing day as Everton travel to champions Leicester City hoping to put their derby heartbreak behind them.