One of the ongoing sagas this transfer window has been the future of Ross Barkley. The 23-year-old has one year left on his contract and is rumoured to be wanted by Chelsea and Tottenham.
As if there was any doubt that the Englishman would leave Goodison Park this summer, Everton boss Ronald Koeman commented a few weeks ago, “100 per cent [he will leave]. I knew this already from the end of last season. We made a really good offer to him to sign a new contract, he declined that contract and told me that he is looking for a new challenge.”
Everton seem to have already moved on and are clearly planning for a future without Barkley having brought in Davy Klaassen and ramping up their interest in signing Gylfi Sigurdsson from Swansea.
There have been various rumours as to why this deal has not been struck yet. Allegedly either Spurs aren’t willing to pay Barkley’s wage demands or Everton’s valuation is too high. Others have suggested the transfer hasn’t happened because of a groin injury, whilst another idea is that Pochettino is concerned about Barkley’s work ethic or mentality.
Whatever the reason, as the start of the Premier League season looms this deal needs to be brought to a conclusion for both the sakes of the club and the player. Here’s why it makes sense for all parties to bring this saga to a swift conclusion.
Everton should cut their losses
I can understand why Everton and their fans would want Ross Barkley to stay. He’s a local lad who has come through the ranks at the club, but it does seem that the player wants to leave.
For Everton’s part and as mentioned above, they seem resigned to the fact that Barkley will not be at the club come the end of the transfer window but now they need to strike a deal and move on, even if they don’t get quite as much money as they would like.
They need to do this so that their players can focus on the preparations for the start of the season without any distractions. It’s hard enough to make a couple of players to gel with their new teammates, but Everton have signed seven new players with an eighth expected soon. Not to mention the loss of their main man, Romelu Lukaku.
In what will be a pivotal season for the Toffees. They need not combine the challenges above with the negative influence of an unhappy player who wants out. Even if it means accepting a lower price than they would ideally like, it’s more than worth getting Barkley off their books to ensure the harmony of their squad.
Only one destination for Barkley
Although a few clubs have been linked with Ross Barkley, from the player’s point of view there is really only one team he should be considering joining and that is Tottenham. Their transformation under boss Mauricio Pochettino has been remarkable and they should at least be challenging for a place in the top four again this season.
Pochettino has a fantastic reputation for improving players and Barkley would be no different given his talent. He could go to a club like Chelsea or Manchester United and earn more money, but he would not grow under the tutelage of Antonio Conte or Jose Mourinho in the same way.
A move to Tottenham would put less pressure on Barkley as he would be coming in as a squad player and would most likely start on the bench, increasing his game-time as he settles in and giving him time to adapt to Spurs’ style of play and their high intensity.
It would also give him a first taste of Champions League football, apparently a factor in why he does not want to renew his contract at Everton.
Tottenham need to bring him in soon
Whilst the move is good for Everton and Barkley, it would also be an excellent signing for Tottenham. The Liverpudlian fits the bill for the north London club seeing as he’s a young English player with a lot of potential. In many ways he’s similar to Dele Alli and Harry Kane and Pochettino probably feels he could turn him into a star.
It would also add an extra attacker to their squad and give them another option if they need to change things during a match.
Barkley’s arrival is also unlikely to upset any of the established players who are still likely to start regularly, especially during the early stages of the season.
That being said, it seems to be Spurs’ Modus operandi this summer to only offer what they are willing to pay and nothing more. They have missed out on several targets already as a result and it would be a massive shame if this deal doesn’t happen because of Daniel Levy’s stubbornness.
Get it done
Whatever the holdup, it’s in all parties’ interests to get this deal over the line as soon as possible. Whatever is stopping this from happening, whether it’s the valuation, wage demands or how much Spurs are willing to pay, ultimately something has to give in order to push this through.
In all likeliness it will end the same way it always does for Spurs – a deadline day deal for around £20m.
In the meantime, it’s an unnecessary distraction at Everton, it’s costing Barkley time to settle in at a new club whilst frustrating the fans that there is no resolution.
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