Chelsea legend Pat Nevin has likened Ross Barkley to Frank Lampard, saying that the midfielder has improved on his decision making this season.
There were a number of raised eyebrows when Chelsea signed Barkley from Everton back in January, especially considering that he was injured. However, under the guidance of Maurizio Sarri, the 24-year-old has really matured, scoring three goals and providing four assists, despite starting just five games in all competitions this season.
One of those who wasn’t particularly blown away by Barkley’s arrival at Stamford Bridge was Blues legend Pat Nevin, but his performances this season have seen Nevin change his opinion on the midfielder.
“I was among the lukewarm welcomers of Ross Barkley, and Ross just hadn’t kicked on from when he was a 17-year-old who was going to be the next big thing,” Nevin told Love Sport Radio.
“And even his first season at Chelsea, that was harsh because he was injured, but it’s an exponential growth in ability and willingness to do the right thing.
“He’s done a few things different: his body shape looks nothing like what it looked like when he was at Everton, that’s number one, so he’s fit on top of all that.
“But there’s one thing maybe above everything else – he’s learning, but he now doesn’t try to play the killer, world cup ball every time he gets it. What he does instead is he plays the right ball.
“He’s been playing with players like Jorginho, Kovacic and Fabregas, and when the big ball’s on he’ll play it, but generally he knows the right ball to play.
“That making the right decisions at the right time was the weak point of his game.
“He seems to have lost that now, and Frank Lampard must watch him arriving in the box from that inside left position and think ‘hey wait a minute, I know that, I used to do that’.”