In what could arguably be described as the craziest transfer window the Premier League has seen to date, Everton’s Ross Barkley topped off proceedings by seemingly rejecting a £35 million move to Chelsea. Contrary to reports at the time, the player has confirmed that he didn’t pull out of the deal whilst undergoing a medical and took to Twitter to explain his reasons for rejecting a move to the Premier League Champions, stating that “it would be best to make a decision on my future and assess all my options in January when fully fit”. The more cynical footballing fans have already suggested that Barkley turned down the move in order to spite both the club and Ronald Koeman for not accepting a bid from Spurs earlier in the window but others have claimed that waiting until January will give the English midfielder more options and he has his heart set on a move to North London in order to work with Mauricio Pochettino. With all of this being said, Ross Barkley is now effectively in footballing limbo until at least January and the question remains – is Ross Barkley’s time up at Everton Football Club?
I simply decided that due to my injury, it would be best to make a decision on my future and assess all my options in January when fully fit
— Ross Barkley (@RBarkley20) September 2, 2017
Would Everton Miss Barkley?
Ross Barkley’s best position is undoubtedly in the much talked about Number 10 role owing to the midfielder’s attacking prowess and mid to long range shooting ability. Along with Wayne Rooney ‘s well-publicised return to the Toffees, the club also brought in Davy Klaasen from Ajax and broke their transfer record to sign Swansea star Gylfi Sigurdsson. In addition to the players already at the club, the aforementioned signings will no doubt all be competing for similar roles and there is certainly a case to be made that Barkley is now surplus to requirements. Furthermore, it’s fair to say that Ross Barkley’s career has so far been one of undelivered promise. The 23-year-old is yet to enjoy an extraordinary stand out season for Everton, one that would catapult him into the upper echelons of English football, with his best Premier League return a fairly paltry 8 goals according to Soccerbase during the 2015/2016 season. Indeed, Barkley’s stats pale into insignificance when compared to Sigurdsson’s return of 9 goals and 13 assists for a dire Swansea team who barely avoided relegation into the Championship last campaign. With Everton spending around £45m to land the 27-year-old, you would expect the Icelandic midfielder to be the first choice for Ronald Koeman unless something drastic happens.
Ronald Koeman – Unflappable and…Unforgiving?
As was widely reported by the BBC all Summer, both Everton and Ronald Koeman were resigned to losing Barkley in the transfer window owing to the player’s refusal to sign a new contract and consequently planned for life without the midfielder. With Koeman categorically stating that Barkley would not be an Everton player at the end of the transfer window, bringing the 23 year old back into the field would not only further incur the wrath of the Everton faithful but arguably undermine the manager and Ronald Koeman does seem to come across a man of his word who won’t tolerate any messing about. In addition to this, Barkley’s refusal to sign a new contract coupled with his desire to travel all the way down to Chelsea is a pretty clear indication of the player’s intentions and this does add further intrigue to Barkley’s last minute change of heart. Some have argued that Barkley’s agent will have had a big hand in the player’s decision to defer his transfer to January, with agents becoming increasingly more powerful when it comes to modern day footballing negotiations, as explained by this article over on the Bet way website. Either way, Koeman will undoubtedly realise that Barkley’s decision has almost certainly been made with his own interests in mind and that’s unlikely to go down well with a manager who has a reputation for letting his feelings be known.
The Final Decision Will Be Down To The Club
It’s important to note that, despite everything that been said, Ross Barkley has been included in Everton’s Europa League squad but, at the same time, this is hardly an unsurprising move owing to the competition’s demanding fixture list and the need for the biggest and most able squad to be at the manager’s disposal. Nevertheless, Ross Barkley’s first post on Instagram since the debacle has indicated that the midfielder is back in training and looking to knuckle down and win back the affections of both Koeman and the Everton faithful. One would expect that Koeman has already met with the hierarchy of the Merseyside club to discuss the England midfielder’s future and that the decision will have already been made with regards to whether we see Barkley in an Everton shirt again. However, with the board massively backing the manager in the transfer window, Koeman will surely get the final say on the matter and Barkley may be facing a long and hard winter warming the Toffee’s bench.