Barry tips Barkley for Brazil
Published 07/01/2014 | 07:22
Gareth Barry feels his fellow Everton midfielder Ross Barkley should be "absolutely nailed on" for a place in England's World Cup squad this summer.
Barkley, who came through the Toffees' youth ranks, has put in plenty of eye-catching performances for them this season, with the latest coming in the 4-0 FA Cup win over QPR on Saturday, a game in which he scored his fourth goal of the campaign.
And the 20-year-old's progress has certainly not gone unnoticed by England boss Roy Hodgson, with Barkley having made his debut for the senior Three Lions side in September and now being in possession of three caps.
With regard to his own prospects of being selected for the World Cup, Barry - who is on loan at Everton for the season from Manchester City and has also done well this term - has made it clear that being involved is something he cannot really foresee, pointing to the fact that he won the last of his 53 England caps in May 2012.
But what he can definitely envisage is Barkley causing a stir at the tournament in Brazil.
Asked about the possibility of both him and Barkley being on the plane with England to South America this summer, the 32-year-old said: "I'm not too worried about that at the moment.
"I'm just looking forward to the second half of the season with Everton. I've not been involved with England for 18 months.
"But Ross, for me, should be absolutely nailed on to be on that plane. And if he continues like this, I'm sure he will be.
"I'm sure the England manager knows enough about Ross to know that he could go out there and surprise a lot of teams, because he has that natural ability."
Barry and Barkley have been among a host of impressive Everton performers in a hugely promising looking season overall for the club under the management of Roberto Martinez, who succeeded David Moyes over the summer.
The Toffees have earned plaudits for their flowing football and they are currently fifth in the Barclays Premier League, a point behind fourth-placed Liverpool and seven behind leaders Arsenal.
Barry has no doubt Barkley will continue to improve as time goes on, and feels Martinez is a particularly good boss for him to work with.
"He is just growing in confidence as the season goes on," Barry said.
"I think working with this manager, it is going to have that sort of impact on him.
"And the more he learns about the game and his position, the more he is going to improve."
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