The rise of Ross Barkley at Everton, his crowning moments and subsequent fall from grace is nothing new in the world of football. It is disappointing though to the thousands of fans who have embraced him over the years, hoping that he would become the 'next Wayne Rooney' and the chosen one to take the Blues back to the top of the English game.
The 2016-17 season under Ronald Koeman proved to be a real roller-coaster for Barkley. He was criticized often by the manager, praised equally frequently, played inspired football and then promptly disappeared for stretches, delighted and frustrated the fans in equal measures, and even found himself on the unfortunate end of two personal attacks, one physical and the other via a now-banned tabloid.
His decision to not sign a new contract with one year left on his current deal pretty much laid the cards out on the table for the Toffees, who decided to call his bluff and have been shopping the Wavertree-born youngster to other clubs, with Tottenham Hotspur always the most likely destination.
Barkley then called off a transfer to Chelsea with all done bar the shouting in late summer 2017, giving fans hope that he would extend his stay at Everton but it was not to be. After rupturing his hamstring thereby robbing Koeman, David Unsworth and now Sam Allardyce of a valuable contributor, he not only completed his physical rehabilitation then promptly turned and repaid his boyhood Blues with a transfer fee to Chelsea of less than half of what Everton were getting for him previously.
Thusly tainted, Barkley’s legacy at Everton remains one of unfulfilled potential, and memories of what-could-have-been. See ya.