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Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley will be up against his former club Everton when the Toffees visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

Barkley joined Chelsea in January for £15m, and the 24-year-old has become a better player since Maurizio Sarri became Blues boss.

Barkley who had suffered a long-term injury struggled on his return under Antonio Conte, and could barely get into the team.

The Englishman is now enjoying good form and has made a return to the England national team after over a year’s absence.

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes that moving to Chelsea was a good decision and that he has changed his mentality and physicality which has made him a better player.

“When you live in a certain area all your life, and you’re only used to one way of life, you can get in a comfort zone and a rut, if you like,” he said on Sky Sports The Debate.

“There’s a higher expectancy from supporters when you’re one of their own to be on form, and sometimes maturity in football comes off the pitch rather than on it. He got himself in a few bits of trouble, and maybe he just needed to move out of that.

“He’s changed his mentality, physically he looks better, he looks hungry, he looks like he’s trying to prove a point. It’s like he’s turned off a new leaf, and fair play to him. It takes a lot of courage.

“When I was in Chester and signed for Liverpool, it took me about a year or 18 months to realise I had to move away from the area to avoid certain things, certain problems and temptations.

“He’s benefitted from moving away, the manager deserves credit for giving him a platform, but Barkley deserves the most credit, because he’s taken a risk.

“There was some negative talk about this move when he was nowhere near the team, but he’s scoring goals, beating people and looks a real handful.

“He’s got two great feet and I think his progression overall has been great, and long may it continue.”

About the Author

Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.