One of the major storylines from the abbreviated tenure of Ronald Koeman was how the Dutchman essentially alienated born-and-bred Evertonian Ross Barkley.
The midfielder was the Blues’ second leading scorer last season, yet Koeman’s public comments about the player resulted in Barkley holding little back about his desire to leave the club.
During his first day on the job, interim manager David Unsworth has already set about mending fences in the club’s relationship with their wantaway star.
He's a top talent. Everton have done great for him. He could be one of the all time greats here. I want to discuss the possibility of signing and staying. I've not spoken to Ross yet but I will be doing so. I'd love him to sit down with a cup of tea. We love him and know he loves Everton.
Of course, it’s still possible that Ross Barkley’s mind is made up, and he departs for Tottenham or Chelsea in January. However, with a club legend in his ear instead of the notoriously blunt Koeman, the Wavertree-born Barkley could well be persuaded to stick it out at Everton, particularly in a World Cup year.
The Everton squad is loaded with attacking midfielders - Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayne Rooney, Davy Klaassen, occasionally Tom Davies - but there will always be room at Finch Farm for one of our own. Given the Blues’ utter impotence in attack this season, Ross Barkley may yet have something to give to Everton Football Club.