Everton manager Roberto Martinez has said he wants midfielder Ross Barkley to have a long summer break, which would keep him out of playing for England in the U21 European Championships at the end of the season, reports Sky
Barkley has made the England senior squad ahead of two internationals to come against Lithuania and Italy, but there’s been talking of him playing for the U21 squad ahead of the European Championships in the summer. Martinez has said all through the season that he feels Barkley having played in the 2014 World Cup means has firmly outgrown U21 football, let alone being a regular for Everton in the Premier League.
U21 manager Gareth Southgate wants Barkley in his squad, as he feels it would be good for the squad to really challenge for the competition with their strongest possible side. But Martinez feels performance levels have been inconsistent by the academy star due to fatigue, which won’t be helped by more games in the summer. He wants the England midfielder to get a lengthy rest to have him in prime condition for an important 2015/16 season, ending with Euro 2016 with the England senior team if he’s selected.
“What Ross brings is the bigger the occasion, the bigger the performance and bigger the response. We need to look after him and make sure he has that sort of standard for the rest of the season and has a proper break in the summer,” said Martinez.
“Do that and we will have a player completely new for next season after the experiences he has had this season.”
Think you know your football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG’s tipster competition – £11,000 to be won monthly!