Sunday 16 December 2018

Blues' new boy Barkley a 'complete player'

Although Barkley will not be in the squad for the FA Cup tie against Norwich City today, he could train with some of his new team-mates who are also not involved in the game. Photo: PA
Although Barkley will not be in the squad for the FA Cup tie against Norwich City today, he could train with some of his new team-mates who are also not involved in the game. Photo: PA

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Ross Barkley has been hailed as a "complete player" by Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte.

Midfielder Barkley has become Chelsea's first signing of the transfer window after joining for around £15 million from Everton.

Although Barkley will not be in the squad for the FA Cup tie against Norwich City today, he could train with some of his new team-mates who are also not involved in the game.

Barkley, who had only six months left to run on his Everton contract and would have been a free agent in the summer, has yet to play this season after suffering a serious hamstring injury, but the 24-year-old is now fit to train fully.

Conte said: "We are talking about a player with great potential. He is a complete player, but at the same time he is very young and he has just started his career.

"Complete because he has it all. He has stamina, strong physically, good technique and is a complete player. He is a modern footballer."

Although Barkley turned down the chance to move to Stamford Bridge in the summer while he concentrated on getting fit, Chelsea first started tracking him as a 17-year-old seven years ago but failed in a number of bids to sign him.

Other than Barkley, Conte wants a target-man striker and a left-sided player, and has not ruled out a surprise move for West Ham's Andy Carroll. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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