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Jagielka backs England teammate Barkley

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By Jonathan Nightingale

Monday 09 June 2014

While Roy Hodgson has attempted to play down the impact Everton midfielder Ross Barkley could have at this year’s World Cup to protect the youngster, club captain and fellow squad member Phil Jaglielka believes he is ready to shine.

Barkley has been used sparingly in England’s warm up games, starting against Ecuador before making a half time appearance against Honduras, with Hodgson keen to blood the exciting youngster gradually on the international stage.

Following impressive displays for the Three Lions Hodgson has attempted to take any pressure off the 20-year-olds shoulders, but Jagielka believes that Barkley is ready to take centre stage at the World’s biggest sporting event.

He said: “From the moment when Ross was about 14 you could see the talent. If you look at what he has got, he has a good physique, good in the air, right food, and more importantly loves the game of football.

“As far as I'm concerned, and we've all seen it, he has got the whole package. We don’t want to put too much pressure on him but if you ask people for their opinions of him, they will be positive.”

Barkley has also been protected by Everton boss Roberto Martinez this season, who often took him out the side to relieve pressure and game time ahead of growing expectations he has the potential to be special.

Despite this, he still featured 38 times in all competitions for the Toffees and scored seven goals in total, including a spectacular opener against Manchester City against England number one Joe Hart.

View the latest World Cup 2014 odds and betting here

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