Wayne Rooney is famously regarded as one of the best things to come out of the Everton youth academy, but Everton manager Roberto Martinez claims that midfielder Ross Barkley could be an even better prospect. Barkley is currently playing for Everton after having come through the ranks at the club. However, his impressive run of form in the last few years and the talent that he has shown during this period has propelled him into being one of the top transfer targets for big clubs like Chelsea and Manchester City. Manchester United are also thought to be interested in him.
Rooney came through the Everton Academy and went on to complete a £ 30 million transfer to Manchester United in 2004. He is regarded as one of the best England players out there. Martinez has seen Barkley from close quarters since the start of the season and he says that the midfielder has been demonstrating much better potential than Rooney did at a similar age. Despite the transfer interest, Barkley has been consistently stating that he wants to remain at Everton for a considerable amount of time.
Everton are close to completing a miracle push for the top four places and Champions League football next season could make Barkley commit to a new contract.
“Ross is the best young England talent I have ever seen, for sure. For me, yes [better than Rooney],” said Martinez when asked about his star midfielder. Everton’s Leon Osman was also of the same opinion and he said that Barkley could be a star at the World Cup 2014. “Should Ross get picked for the World Cup? If he gets the call, I’m absolutely convinced he will do very well. If he has the belief behind him, who knows what could happen on the bigger stage?” said Osman.