£15m man in limbo after failing to seal Everton or West Ham move, won’t be seen until 2022


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Ross Barkley had better hope Thomas Tuchel is taking the EFL Cup seriously. 

Because, with the transfer market closed until January 2022, a brief cameo against his old employers Aston Villa perhaps represents Barkley’s best chance of obtaining some actual game-time between now and the New Year.

An England international with 33 caps under his belt, this is quite an unedifying situation for a man who was labelled the second coming of Paul Gascoigne long before Jack Grealish burst onto the scene and while Phil Foden was still perfecting his stepovers on the streets of Stockport. 

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Everton’s 2013-14 5th Place XI: Where Are They Now?

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Will Ross Barkley ever play for Chelsea again?

A glance at Chelsea’s official website tells it’s own story. 

There he is, glaring down the camera lens next to forgotten man Lewis Baker in the squad list.

Barkley, like Baker, does not have a squad number. With Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and deadline day arrival Saul Niguez all ahead of him in the pecking order, he does not have a place in Thomas Tuchel’s plans either. 

When Chelsea name their official 25-man Premier League squad over the next couple of days, don’t be surprised if one of the most naturally talented English footballers of his generation is conspicuous by his absence. 

Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

It’s not as if Barkley was short of interest either. 

West Ham and Newcastle United were keen, according to 90Min and The Athletic, while Rafa Benitez was willing to offer the £15 million-rated Barkley a fresh start in the familiar surrounds of Goodison Park.  

Burnley even made a late approach on deadline day with little luck, as reported by The Express. 

But after failing to secure an escape route out of the club he joined after so much speculation in 2018 – and after a loan spell at Aston Villa which started well but quickly went south – things are going to get a lot worse before they get better for Barkley. 

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In other news, ‘Lovely’: Gary Lineker reacts to footage of 24-cap West Ham man leaving Leeds star in shock

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