Ross Barkley is the latest subject of our feature analysing each of our players’ seasons up to now.
The England midfielder has been at Stamford Bridge for two-and-a-half years and is currently learning from a former international team-mate of his…
Ross Barkley: 20 appearances (seven as a sub), three goals, four assists
‘He shouldn’t get caught up in where he’s at, what he may be, what may have been, only how he trains every day. When you see that you see he’s a really good player for us and can be that goalscoring midfielder, and not only that: he can play, he can run, he can tackle, he can do a lot of things. His shooting, right and left foot, is as good technically as I see on the training pitch.’
When the global pandemic forced football to press pause in March, the timing could not have been worse for Ross Barkley, who was coming off the back of his best two performances of the season and earning words of praise from his boss Frank Lampard.
Barkley had scored a superb solo goal as we beat Liverpool in the FA Cup, and followed it up five days later with a dominant midfield showing against his former club Everton that included an exquisitely-weighted assist for Pedro, a 98 per cent pass completion rate and seven successful take-ons. Then came lockdown.
Frank Lampard’s appointment last summer meant he would be joining forces with a number of players he had a shared a pitch with, including Barkley, 16 years his junior and a fellow member of England’s 2014 World Cup squad.
In pre-season the current Chelsea no.8 stood out, with four goals and a number of promising performances. It earned Barkley a starting place on the opening day at Old Trafford; he was withdrawn shortly before the flurry of goals that took the game away from us.
Barkley was then in and out of the team as Lampard sought his perfect midfield formula. Barkley’s fortunes remained mixed. He came on as a late sub against Valencia in our first Champions League game and smashed a penalty against the crossbar, netted a well-taken finish as we thumped Grimsby in the Carabao Cup, scored twice for England in Bulgaria, and then on his return to Chelsea turned his ankle on the stroke of half-time of a hard-fought win over Newcastle. It ruled him out for the best part of two months.
It was another four weeks before he was back on the pitch, marking his return with a goal against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round. That display earned him a starting berth for the visit of Burnley a week later, and he looked lively in a comfortable home victory. A run of games coming off the bench followed before the winter break.
The beginning of Barkley’s sustained good form was the visit of Tottenham on 22 February. He hit the post in the build-up to Olivier Giroud’s opener, and then teed the second up for Marcos Alonso with an inviting square pass. He provided two more assists when his old club visited the Bridge a fortnight later, and along with the special Liverpool strike it all made for a very productive spell. He will be desperate to pick up where he left off, by accumulating more minutes to help his confidence and continuing to contribute in terms of goals and assists.
Lampard rates Barkley's season and explains why he can be a 'big player' for Chelsea
Ross Barkley's 2019/20 Premier League stats
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Ross Barkley stats
Ross Barkley Premier League appearances 2019/20
Ross Barkley has played 13 times in the Premier League for Chelsea this season, five times as a substitute.
Ross Barkley Champions League appearances 2019/20
Ross Barkley has played twice in the Champions League so far this season, in our first and last games in the competition.
Ross Barkley FA Cup appearances 2019/20
Ross Barkley has started all three of our FA Cup games this season, scoring two goals and setting up another against Hull.
Ross Barkley Carabao Cup appearances 2019/20
Ross Barkley played once in the Carabao Cup this season, and scored in our opening 7-1 victory against Grimsby.
Ross Barkley goals 2019/20
Ross Barkley has scored three goals this season, against Grimsby in the Carabao Cup, and Hull and Liverpool in our two most recent FA Cup fixtures. He also scored four times in pre-season.