Fit-again Barkley determined to earn England recall

Ross Barkley feels he is improving under Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri and has his sights firmly set on an England return.

Barkley had a limited impact last season after joining Chelsea from Everton in January, being troubled by injury and making only four appearances in all competitions.

This term, with Sarri having succeeded Antonio Conte over the summer, the 24-year-old has featured in eight of Chelsea’s nine games so far.

And, in the 2-1 Carabao Cup victory at Liverpool on Wednesday, the visitors drew level when Emerson Palmieri converted after Barkley’s header was parried.

Barkley, who won the most recent of his 22 England caps in 2016, said: “Last year, I had a difficult time with injuries.

“I knew things would come good and they have started to go well now and I believe they will continue to get better with continuing to work hard in training.

“I want to keep improving, which I feel I already am with the direction that he (Sarri) wants us to go in.

Ross Barkley last played for England in 2016 (Mike Egerton/PA).
Ross Barkley last played for England in 2016 (Mike Egerton/PA).

“I will play anywhere on the pitch. But (the aim) for me (is) to add goals and assists. I played a part in the first goal here, but I am hoping to add a lot more as the season goes on.”

Barkley has not played for England since Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate – in attendance at Anfield on Wednesday – took charge.

Having admitted it hurt not being involved in the Word Cup over the summer, Barkley said: “I was injured and then I wasn’t in the squad, but you have just got to react in the right way and I feel like I have.

“I’m just going to let my football do the talking and hopefully I’ll be back in the squad soon.”

England manager Gareth Southgate watched Ross Barkley's display at Anfield (Nigel French/PA).
England manager Gareth Southgate watched Ross Barkley’s display at Anfield (Nigel French/PA).

It was put to Barkley that there had been talk after his emergence at Everton about him developing into the type of creative midfielder England are crying out for.

And he said: “I know and it’s just down to me to go and show I can be that player and I believe I can.

“Game by game, I will keep improving and I will show I am that type of player.

“I have got a platform. I am at a massive club like Chelsea and we are going to challenge for all the titles this season.

“And I believe that if I let my feet do the talking on the pitch for my club, I will be back on the international scene sooner rather than later.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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