Everton midfielder Ross Barkley will be under the microscope on Saturday afternoon at Goodison Park when he lines up for the Blues against West Bromwich Albion. England manager Gareth Southgate has said that he will be in the stands as he attempts to make some final decisions on his squad with the next international break coming up in a fortnight.
Barkley has been left out of the last three Three Lions squads, and last played for England in May of last year. He was overlooked by Sam Allardyce during his short tenure as manager, and has subsequently been passed over by Southgate as well.
However, the Wavertree-born player has hit a sparkling streak of form in the last few weeks with Everton seeing their nine match unbeaten streak ended last weekend at Tottenham Hotspur.
The Blues’ ‘diamond’ has seen a turnaround in his fortunes since taking Toffees manager Ronald Koeman’s advice to heart and seeing a dramatic improvement in his on-field performances. He is currently 4th in the Premier League in average completed key passes per game with 2.5, behind only Christian Eriksen, Mesut Özil, and Kevin De Bruyne.
Another starring performance tomorrow for Barkley would go a long way towards winning over Southgate as he finalizes his squad choices for the games against Germany in Dortmund on March 22nd and the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley on March 26th.