Does Barkley have any hope of making the England World Cup squad?

Everton fans have got used to the fact that Ross Barkley’s future with the club is all but finished, but things could be about to change now that Ronald Koeman has been sacked. The young midfielder was unsettled at the club and pushed for a move away in the summer, but this never materialised. Now, if Barkley wants to have any chance of going to the World Cup next summer, he needs to work his way back onto the Toffees team sheet.

Barkley was once the most promising prospect at Everton, and there were times that it was even suggested that he could become better than Premier League legends Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. The 23-year-old had a strong campaign in 2015-16 when he bagged eight goals and nine assists, and then followed that up fairly well last term with five goals and eleven assists. But after having operated as one of the main providers in the midfield for Romelu Lukaku, many had hoped for a more prolific output from the young Merseyside lad. Barkley was inconsistent as well and failed to attract the attention of the major clubs he had hoped to move to in the summer.

There is a chance, though, that Barkley may be given a new lease of life at Goodison Park under the new manager. The attacking midfielder hasn’t played a single minute of top-flight football this season, with reports saying he is out with a hamstring injury. But it is also common knowledge that Koeman didn’t want to select him after their bust-up in the summer. With a new manager, the England international has the opportunity for a fresh start.

Barkley certainly needs to get back on the Everton team sheet if he is to have any hope of making Gareth Southgate’s squad for Russia. At the time of writing, the man who has claimed 22 England caps is only at 3/1 in the international football betting to be selected. That means he is by no means a certainty anymore after having appeared at the Three Lions’ last two major tournaments.

Bringing Barkley back into the fold could be a great option for the new manager. Everton are currently in the midst of a relegation battle, and they need to pull away from the lower echelons to avoid getting sucked in. Barkley could inject some much-needed energy into a squad that are in a miserable and hopeless situation. The forward has also proved in the past that he can be a source of goals, something the Toffees desperately need right now.

Now is the time for England players to fight for their positions and prove that they are worthy of wearing the shirt in the World Cup. Right now, Southgate has a much more reliable and consistent performer in Barkley’s preferred position, in Tottenham Hotspur’s Deli Alli. The Everton man needs to prove that he is at the same level as the Spurs star, and fight to give Southgate a selection headache. The only way he can do this is by getting back into the Everton team as soon as possible.

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