It is a customary feature of the January transfer window that certain moves spark a domino effect in the rumour factory and the latest down the conveyor belt is Chelsea’s prospective summer swoop for Everton’s prize asset Ross Barkley.
The catalyst for Chelsea’s stepped-up interest in Barkley is Juan Mata’s expected transfer to Manchester United, but in reality, a summer move to Stamford Bridge will be too soon for the Everton man.
With the greatest of respect to Everton, there is no doubt a player as talented as the 20-year-old is destined for one of world football’s top clubs at some point in the future, but that doesn’t have to be just yet.
Barkley has everything he needs in place at Goodison Park, for at least another season to come after this.
At present, the Toffees represent the 5/1 outsiders of the Champions League-chasing pack, but with only a point separating Roberto Martinez’ side from Liverpool in fourth ahead of the Merseyside derby, they are fully in the mix for fourth.
Martinez has blooded Barkley perfectly this season without over exposing him and reaped the rewards of some phenomenal performances by the roving midfielder.
Although injured recently, Barkley’s meteoric rise through the Everton ranks makes him the first choice to play if fit, while at Chelsea his playing time would be significantly reduced in the face of rotation.
Barring Frank Lampard, the King’s Road has become a bit of a graveyard for English talent over the years too and Mourinho has played his part in creating a club culture which prevents academy players from getting a chance as well.
Carlton Cole, Scott Parker, Steve Sidwell, Josh McEachran, Scott Sinclair, Glen Johnson, Jack Cork, Micheal Mancienne and most recently Ryan Bertrand have all been frozen out of the picture at Chelsea.
Barkley may be the best of all those players, but he should avoid the allure of Chelsea at his fledgling stage in his career and stay pulling Everton’s strings instead.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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