Ross Barkley is having a good season at Chelsea when compared to last season where he struggled for games following his switch to Chelsea from Everton, having only recovered from a long injury layoff.
The 25-year-old has been an important player for Maurizio Sarri this season, as he fights for a place in the team alongside Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Barkley took his display to another level when he bagged a brace for England in their 5-1 win against Montenegro and was impressive for Gareth Southgate’s side in both their international games during the break.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has revealed he’s impressed with Barkley’s performance this season especially after a difficult last season for him.
“Of course at the beginning of the season he didn’t have big confidence because the last season was really very hard for him,” said the Italian. “Then after three, four, five matches in the starting XI he changed. Now he’s a very important player for us. He is a very, very good player. He is important in our midfield and he’s played a lot of matches.
“He has improved a lot tactically. I think that he improved a lot in the defensive phase because technically he was, and he is, a very good player. In the offensive phase he is able to score seven, eight goals every season and now I think he is a good player also in the defensive phase.
“Also physically I think, because in the last season he played only 200 minutes and so he needed time on the pitch. Fortunately now he is going very well with the leg and he has improved a lot during the season.”
Barkley has revealed that he’s learning a lot from his teammates, with competition rife in the Chelsea midfield, and he pointed that the likes of Jorginho and N’Golo Kante have taught him a lot.
Barkley said: “The characteristics from N’Golo Kante are totally different from my strengths, and the same with Jorginho as well, but all the midfielders, we all add different things to the midfield three.
“You look at Jorginho in that regista role, he keeps everything ticking for us and he’s a man that gets the ball moving and helps us build up play. With N’Golo I don’t need to say too much about him, because everybody knows what he brings to the team and how good he is!’
“I’ve learned a lot through playing with the both of them, and the rest of the squad as well.”