Ross Barkley is expected to make the move to Chelsea this weekend at the cost of £15m. Most people are applauding the Premier League champions for good business, while forgetting one key factor – he’s not a very good footballer.
Fifteen million pounds not being considered a lot of money is an in indictment. It’s indicative that we’re all slowly being brainwashed by Conservative governments and that football has gone apesh*t mad.
You tend to associate similar price tags with up-and-coming, but unknown commodities from lesser leagues around the globe. People usually can’t complain about it because the players can be anything.
However, on this occasion – we know that Barkley is a whinger and someone who’s shown endless promise, but never done it consistently.
Ross Barkley would have cost Chelsea £35m had the deal gone through in the summer. Now #CFC are getting him for £15m. He's made the club £20m before he's even touched a football. Hero.
— Chelsea FC News | Follow Back (@ChelseaTalks247) January 5, 2018
We’ve also got to move away from the whole potential argument. He’s now twenty-four and not the nineteen-year-old that people thought would win England a World Cup by himself.
Barkley said last year that he wanted a new challenge, and wouldn’t sign a contact. His challenge should have been to get a contract in the first place, as moments of magic don’t nearly make up for countless defensive lapses and going missing in games when Everton most needed him.
His reported salary is being compared to that of Virgil van Dijk’s. Presumably only because the clubs are only a stone’s throw away from each other and the proximity of the deals. Liverpool bought a defender that has shown how talented he is, and actually done it consistently. He has many attributes – he’s great in the air, a good footballer and knows exactly where his man is at all times.
Ross Barkley doesn’t even know where he is, half the time.
Next, the logic of the fee. Barkley’s out of contract in the summer. Chelsea are paying fifteen million pounds for his services until the end of the season, as they could take him for free in July. That’s why the fee is so ‘low’.
He also fits the perfect stereotype for eventual disappointment. He’s English, he’s got quick feet and has been hyped out of all proportion since he turned twelve years of age.
A player of that supposed quality should have been single-handedly boosting Everton in the big games they found themselves in over the past few years. He was shown how to do it by Wayne Rooney – an actual big-time playmaker with talent in abundance. Barkley scored once in every seven games last season.
As an attacking midfielder, did he contribute enough in terms of goals and chance creation?
Absolutely not. His attitude, when offered a contract on big money that he didn’t deserve was one of indifference.
There’s definitely good business being done here, and it’s from Everton. They’re getting fifteen million quid for a player who doesn’t fit Sam Allardyce’s system, a nice chunk off the wage bill and a better dressing room.
Ross Barkley’s going to realise he liked being a big fish, even if he never was one.