Ross Barkley
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  • Roy Hodgson praises Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley.
  • Hodgson worked with Barkley during his time as England boss.
  • The manager’s Crystal Palace side visit Stamford Bridge tomorrow.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has praised Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley ahead of his side’s trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

Hodgson worked with Barkley during his time as manager of the England national team. The 24-year-old was considered one of the country’s most exciting young players at that time.

Fast forward a few years and Barkley finds himself fighting for a starting spot in the Chelsea team. The three goals and two assists he recorded in October will have done him no harm in his quest to achieve that.

With Palace tasked with finding a way to stop the in-form Barkley this weekend, Eagles boss Hodgson has waxed lyrical about the former Everton man. He’s quoted by the Guardian saying:

“Ross is showing everything we thought he could and should be. He was unlucky with his injury, which set him back when he got to Chelsea, but he has done exceptionally well to battle through that. He certainly looks a lot fitter than the last time he was working with England.”

“When he came to us [in 2016], he did realise he wasn’t as fit as he should be and, to get a place in that 2016 squad, he really worked unbelievably hard to get his weight down and his body back into the right shape.”

“He hadn’t been playing a lot of regular football at that time. But Barkley was one of many talents that came into the England team a few years ago and a player who, if he can get a run of games and keep himself fit, has everything you are looking for in a midfield player. I’m very pleased for him.”

If Barkley can produce his performances of late on a regular basis, we will then be able to argue that he is in the process of fulfilling his potential. His recent form will have convinced a few that the quality he showcased as a youngster still resides within him.

Chelsea do not have a lot of goals in our midfield, nor have England been able to find a midfield player capable of producing Frank Lampard-esque goal hauls. Barkley could be the man that we’ve been waiting for. Only time will tell…

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