Chelsea midfielder had the potential to become the next Steven Gerrard

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According to former Everton defender Mark Hughes, Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley had the potential to become the next Steven Gerrard.

Hughes believes Barkley has struggled to reach his potential because he had some of his natural flair coached out of him following his breakthrough.

Photo: Getty Images

Hughes told Tribalfootball.com: “If Wayne Rooney was playing at that age now, I’m not saying it would get taken out of him, but I look at someone like Ross Barkley when he was at Everton, and he came in a bit of a street footballer, but I think managers and even fans they sort of take that out of them.

“I love when a young lad comes through, and he was the one who I thought could be the next Steven Gerrard for Everton.

“You could have built a team around him. I thought he could’ve been the best midfielder England had since Steven Gerrard.

“But because the way he played, he used to run with the ball and sometimes he’d get it taken off him. That’s the hardest part of football – taking people on.

“Then the fans would get on his back because he’d given it away. He just started passing it.”

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OTONY
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