Connect with us


What can Everton midfielder Ross Barkley offer Tottenham Hotspur?




With the Standard reporting that Tottenham Hotspur could make their first signing of the summer in the form of Everton’s Ross Barkley, fans will be questioning what the English midfielder will be able to offer the Lilywhites in the coming seasons.

While Barkley’s quality has won games single-handedly at times for Everton, the Toffees’ head coach Ronald Koeman has given the 23-year-old a contract ultimatum. It, therefore, appears that the Dutchman would not be too fussed about losing his inconsistent midfielder.

But what would the 23-year-old bring to Tottenham? First and foremost, Barkley would add depth to a squad that is currently lacking. The lack of rotation options for the likes of Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli proved problematic last season, and were a key factor in Spurs not being able to compete on several fronts.

Barkley’s attacking output – six goals and nine assists in the 2016/17 season – are not indicative of a first-choice attacking midfielder for a side genuinely competing for the league title. In comparison, Dele Alli contributed 18 goals and seven assists, while leading playmaker Christian Eriksen contributed eight goals and 15 assists. On reflection, his offensive abilities don’t really compete with those in the Spurs starting eleven at this moment in time.

However, with Barkley’s tactical flexibility allowing for him to play wider, which was used to a good degree of success by Koeman when he had first-choice fullback Seamus Coleman fully fit, the Englishman could find himself starting games wider, supported by Kieran Trippier, especially in games where Spurs aren’t reliant on width to break down play.

With Heung Min-Son currently injured, Barkley would provide a stylistically different replacement, but one who could still fulfil the requirements. It would also be likely that, in times of necessity, Barkley could drop deeper into central midfield, acting as cover for the injury-prone Mousa Dembele.

With Dembele’s box-to-box style and physical dominance being very difficult to replace, Barkley could provide something different to Spurs when played in a pivot with Victor Wanyama or Harry Winks (in a 3-4-2-1 formation, which Mauricio Pochettino deployed to great effect last season), or with Eric Dier (in the 4-2-3-1 system used the year before).

Either would be better than the Dier-Wanyama pivot, which proved lacklustre and had very little offensive impact last term.

In return, Mauricio Pochettino could help nurture Barkley into one of England’s best players. At just 23, the midfielder has enormous potential and has shown it in patches. With the emphasis being on a high-pressing, dynamic attack, centring around Harry Kane, Barkley’s movement, quick feet and eye for a pass mean he would be an ideal fit at Tottenham.

Pochettino has, indeed, done more with less in the past. The recently departed Kyle Walker was nothing more than an average right-back with impressive physical attributes before the Argentine arrived, and he is now the most expensive right-back in footballing history. Likewise, on the other flank, many were questioning Danny Rose’s future at Spurs before Pochettino took the realms, and he is now England’s best left-back.

So if Barkley is willing to come to Spurs, he would be working under the tutelage of a fine manager with a fantastic record of developing young talent, and Barkley could well forge a path into a starting place at major international competitions.

Last but not least, the opportunity for Barkley to showcase his talent on the major European stage, at club level in the UEFA Champions League, could be an attraction too difficult to turn down – it is often said that the best players want to play Champions League football.

A move to Hotspur Way would fulfil this ambition in the coming season, with Tottenham qualifying for the premier European competition for the second consecutive campaign. Finally, with Spurs clearly being a team and a club on the up, a transfer could easily be the spark that reinvigorates Barkley’s career, and the one that helps him transform potential into talent.

Josh is a blogger who has been writing about Spurs for over a year. He's an avid sports fan, and is devoted not just to Tottenham Hotspur but to football as a whole. You can follow him on Twitter, @Brownyyy26, and comments or questions are always welcome.

English Premier League

Despite improvement, Everton should not rekindle Thomas Vermaelen interest

The Belgian defender has been in better form for Barcelona this season.



Rumours have emerged today suggesting Everton could be back in for Belgian defender Thomas Vermaelen.

Catalan newspaper Sport has reported that the 32-year-old could be offered a new deal by Barcelona, with a team from the Premier League interested in signing him.

Sport Witness has openly hypothesised that Everton could be that team. Whilst there is no confirmation or substantiated report that is the case, the boot certainly fits.

Last summer Everton tried to sign Vermaelen.

As reported by the Liverpool Echo, at the time Barcelona vetoed a loan move to Everton as they felt the defender could be a useful asset.

The Belgian certainly has. After struggling with injuries and form throughout most of his Barcelona tenure the former Arsenal man has enjoyed a good season.

The 32-year-old has been a genuine asset to the Catalans, despite still being used sparingly, and such form has even seen him win back a place in Roberto Martinez’s national selection for Belgium.

If it is Everton interested in Vermaelen it is easy to see why. Centre-back has been a major problem for the club this season.

However, Vermaelen, or a player of his ilk, is not the answer to the Toffees’ woes.

(Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

The Belgian is obviously a talented player with plenty of experience, but Everton need to freshen up their back-line.

Ashley Williams and Phil Jagielka’s age has shown in recent months.

The pair have been, at the best, inconsistent for the past 18 months and Everton need fresh young talent in the heart of defence if they are to succeed.

Vermaelen is not only 32 but also immensely injury prone. Everton need reliable figures to plug their leaky defences and the Belgian can simply not be relied upon.

Whilst on paper it seems a good deal, and one Everton could certainly turn to their benefit.

The truth is supporters of the Goodison Park outfit will hope they are not the club reportedly keen on bringing Vermaelen back to the Premier League.

Continue Reading

English Premier League

Matty Foulds has not fulfilled two-year Everton promise

The one time ‘next John Stones’ has not lived up to his potential.



Photo: Getty Images

In November 2015, Everton agreed a deal to sign teenage defender Matty Foulds from Bury.

The then-17-year-old agreed to join Everton in January 2016 and was immediately hotly tipped for a bright future at Goodison Park.

As reported by the Liverpool Echo, the deal cost Everton £225,000 and the club expected him to be playing first-team football within the next two years.

Such high praise and expectation soon saw him earning the moniker of ‘next John Stones’, considering the England international’s rise from the Football League.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

So, it is now over two years since Foulds joined Everton and, as of yet, the first-team has not been calling.

The now 20-year-old defender has not yet made his first-team debut or even a matchday squad.

Foulds, who played just four times in Everton’s triumphant Premier League 2 Division One win last season, has not made the progress many at the club thought he might.

This season, he has established himself as a more regular feature, playing 11 times, mostly as a left-back, despite originally arriving as a ball-playing centre-half.

Foulds, whose current deal expires in the summer of 2019, has clearly not lived up to expectation just yet.

It could be he has fallen victim to the change of management at Everton. Roberto Martinez spoke highly of Foulds when signing him.

The Spaniard would have had a vision of him playing first-team football for Everton, but Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce may not share such expectancy. 

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Foulds also has plenty of competition at Goodison Park.

Last season he could not get past the likes of Antonee Robinson, Callum Connolly, Morgan Feeney and first-team regulars Matthew Pennington and Mason Holgate.

This campaign he has been a regular but has not featured in the club’s last four under-23 ties.

Lewis Gibson has been preferred at left-back with Foulds also struggling with injury.

It certainly appears as though Foulds has not lived up to the expectations Everton had for him when he first arrived.

Next season, contractually, is his last at Finch Farm and Foulds will need to massively improve if he is to have any long-term future at Goodison Park.

Continue Reading

English Premier League

Everton must secure Frank Fabra signing before World Cup

The Colombian is set to star at the World Cup with his nation.



Photo: Getty Images

Everton are currently being linked with a move for Colombian left-back Frank Fabra. According to Argentine radio station El Crack Deportivothe 27-year-old is being considered as the left-back option Everton need.

Everton have been lacking in the department this season. With Leighton Baines suffering injury trouble throughout the campaign, natural right-back Cuco Martina has done his best in the role. Everton thoroughly need a new left-back and Fabra is an impressive option.

(Photo by Gabriel Rossi/Getty Images)

The Boca Juniors defender was linked with Manchester United and Chelsea by Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio in 2016. A powerful full-back, he has all it takes to be a star in European football.

Everton are, therefore right, to be targeting the Boca star.  However, the Toffees must try to wrap up any potential deal before the World Cup in Russia this summer.

Fabra is looking increasingly likely to be Colombia’s first-choice at the competition. Pablo Armero has had his day and Fabra is the popular choice to play the role of left-back or left wing-back.

Colombia, who are in Group H with Japan, Poland and Senegal, have high hopes of going far in the competition. Four years ago they suffered a narrow quarter-final exit at the hands of Brazil.

(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)

Fabra will no doubt be key to any success that Colombia have in the competition and therefore will catch the eye.

Everton will be fully aware what a top World Cup performance can do to a player’s value. If the Toffees want to bring in Fabra doing so before the Russia World Cup could end up being a worthwhile cost-cutting exercise.

Regardless, Everton fans will just be pleased to hear that the club are starting to identify potential options to strengthen one of their weakest positions on the field, even if it is not a household name.

Continue Reading


Copyright © 2017 The Boot Room.