Roberto Martinez claims his Everton youngster Ross Barkley is so good, he can go on to reach ‘unseen levels’ during the course of his career.
The footballing world may only be learning about the teenager this season, but his talent has been an open secret for some time at Goodison Park. Having joined the club as an 11-year-old, he has long been touted for greatness on Merseyside, and he would have captured attention long ago had he not broken his leg in three places back in 2010.
Barkley has recovered from that considerable setback and last season spent time on loan at both Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United, fans of whom recognised how special the youngster could go on to become. And this term he has shown great promise for the Toffees, starting all three of their Premier League matches so far, scoring a superb goal against Norwich City, and making his debut for England.
Should Roy Hodgson’s side qualify for the World Cup Finals next year there is no reason why the 19-year-old can’t play his way onto the plane to Brazil, and this wouldn’t come as a surprise to Martinez. Indeed, the former Wigan Athletic coach can’t praise the midfielder highly enough, and believes there is no limit as to what he can achieve.
“Ross will never get affected by everything that’s happened to him because he’s had really tough experiences already,” the Spaniard said in the Daily Mirror. “He’s seen both sides of the game having suffered such a horrific injury. Something like that puts your career in perspective and tells you that everything could be taken away from you.
“Probably that has given him a unique maturity for such a young man. He’s also been out on loan at clubs with different styles, he has been through everything. The good thing about Ross is that he never gets carried away, nothing fazes him. He’s so talented. I’m extremely excited about his future because I think he can reach unseen levels.”
The Toffees will be looking to record their first win of the new season on Saturday evening, yet they face a tough test against Chelsea. Jose Mourinho’s side are also unbeaten thus far, yet they have won just two of their last 10 visits to Merseyside. They will, though, arrive on the back of 14 matches without defeat, won at Goodison Park last term.