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Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has hailed Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley for reviving his career at Chelsea and claims Barkley’s better tactical awareness puts him ahead of Ruben Loftus-Cheek in Chelsea’s midfield pecking order.

After struggling for form last season following his January transfer from Everton, Barkley has found his best form under Sarri.

Ahead of facing his boyhood club this weekend, Sarri believes Barkley is on the way to becoming an important midfielder for both club and country.

“At the beginning, in the first month, Ross was in trouble,” Sarri said. “But then he started to improve in every training session, in every match.

“I am surprised how he has adapted if I think back to the first month, but not if I think of the last two months.

“At the moment, from a tactical point of view, Ross is a step ahead of Loftus-Cheek because Ruben in the first part of the season had two or three little injuries.

“I like Ross very much. He is a complete player. He has physical qualities, he is fast. Technically he’s very good.

“He kicks well with his left foot and his right. He’s improving in moving the ball. He has become mentally quicker and he is improving tactically. He is on the way to becoming a very important midfielder, not only for us but also for England.”

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