It may have taken Ross Barkley a few months to get accustomed to Ronald Koeman’s desired way of playing, but once he did, the midfielder has not looked back.
The homegrown player’s contract is set to expire at the end of next season, and rumors had persisted of him perhaps moving on, with Tottenham Hotspur the most likely destination. Early in the year he struggled, which only fed fuel to the rumor fires.
However, Barkley has taken Koeman’s criticism to heart, and quickly reasserted himself as one of the very first names on the team sheet.
It’s no surprise, then, that Everton are renewing efforts to keep him in the side for years to come, with Koeman himself confirming as much in his press conference today.
“The situation about these players who finish the contract after one year, he’s one of them, we will do everything to keep Ross.
“The talks are planned.”
This should come as great news for all involved. Barkley is a talented player, and popular with the supporters. He was clearly Everton’s best player against Spurs on Sunday, and has yet to unlock his full potential. His appearances in 2017 have seen him become one of the Blues’ outstanding performers.
Barkley has flown to 4th in the Premier League in average completed key passes per game with 2.5, behind only Christian Eriksen, Mesut Ozil, and Kevin De Bruyne.
Could we see Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley both commit their futures to Everton in the next few weeks? What a statement of intent that would be about the Toffees and a potentially dazzling future ahead.