In the next couple of hours, Ross Barkley must make a choice. He must choose between joining Tottenham Hotspur or Chelsea. Both clubs are bigger than his present side, Everton; still, one would be a better career choice for the England playmaker – which is?
For a player who has been touted to reach the stratosphere in his football career, Ross Barkley just isn’t there yet. Today, he’s reached crossroads in that career. The only certainty is that the young man will leave Merseyside, if not now, then in January. The debate now is where Barkley will continue his development.
Spurs did hold the ace on signing the 23-year-old, but Daniel Levy’s dilly-dallying has allowed Chelsea to creep in and table a £25 million bid. Although that bid was rejected by Everton, it’s left Barkley with a decision to make.
Being a homegrown player with immense talent and potential, Barkley was valued at not less than £50 million by Everton. However, Ronald Koeman and the club has managed his situation really poorly. Koeman for one has openly criticised Barkley’s commitment to the club and stated he expects the player to leave. Koeman’s assertion can’t be too far from the frustration of the Blues failing to tie down their academy graduate to a new contract. For a player who wants to leave, Everton must now prepare to sell the player for a cut-price.
There’s also the small matter of Barkley’s ligament injury which is set to keep him out for no less than three months; nobody would be crazy enough to pay £50 million for a player who’ll be on the sidelines for the next three months and already in the last 12 months of his contract.
For either of Chelsea or Tottenham, Ross Barkley will be a big steal. His home-grown status is a priceless commodity in this age where foreign mercenaries have become the norm in English football.
How will Ross Barkley fit in at Spurs?
At Tottenham Hotspur, Ross Barkley will provide a much-needed depth for Mauricio Pochettino’s side who precariously rely [too] heavily on Christian Eriksen for the bulk of their creativity. Ross Barkley wouldn’t be coming in to replace Eriksen, rather, he’ll be a big compliment for the Dane as Spurs begin the quest for their first piece of silverware since 2008.
In a 4-2-3-1 formation, Barkley could tie down a spot in Spurs’ attacking midfield triumvirate that already has the aforementioned Eriksen and Dele Alli as untouchables. The Spurs project could be an exciting one for the Liverpool-born midfielder; that’s if Spurs can outbid Chelsea for the player and the player gives the nod.
Barkley to Chelsea – best for all parties
The Spurs starting lineup is one of the most difficult to break into, as is Chelsea’s. Antonio Conte’s team can be said to be watertight in every department. However, a player of Ross Barkley’s quality would be a massive addition to the Chelsea side. In terms of tenacity, creativity and directness from the middle of the park, only Eden Hazard betters Barkley in the Chelsea setup. He’s also young with a budding career ahead of him. It’s easy to see why Conte craves the player.
At Chelsea, Barkley will have to fight for his place, but he wouldn’t be fighting a lost battle. Antonio Conte appreciates hard work and the opportunity is there for the taking. With only Victor Moses and Gary Cahill the home-grown players in their first team, Chelsea needs Barkley for more than just his talent.
While Spurs continue to drag feet in their pursuit of the attacking midfielder, Chelsea is making giant strides and reports say the Blues are readying another bid close to £30 million for Barkley.
Chelsea wants him more than Spurs, they are in dire need of the quality he brings. The Blues are ready to pay the right fee for him. The young man also gets to play Champions League football in the capital. Why not Chelsea for Barkley?