After a protracted transfer saga that felt like it had no end in sight, confirmation has arrived – Ross Barkley is a Blue. He’s swapped the blue of Everton for the blue of Chelsea, completing a move that fell apart late last summer. With a meagre six months left on his deal, he’s taken the No. 8 at Chelsea amid a cut-price move rumoured to be around £15-20m. Given the fee in summer was estimated to be close to double that, it’s a kick in the teeth for the Toffees to lose a player of his ability for such a small fee.
Speaking to the official Chelsea website, Barkley was delighted, saying: “To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea, it’s unbelievable for me. I’m looking forward to continuing where I left off at the end of last season and hoping to improve and add more goals to my game.”
Given Barkley was at times a creative fulcrum for Everton, despite being frustrating for regular periods of time, he still accumulated over 80 key passes in the last two seasons. Given that next on the list was Leighton Baines with 58, and it’s easy to see why Barkley will be missed as much as the transfer has taken a bitter turn in the last weeks and months.
Now, both sides can move on and concentrate on a new experience. The hope for Chelsea fans is that he can go some way to replacing the goals and perpetual movement that club legend Frank Lampard brought to the side, and has often been sorely lacking since his exit in 2014.