3 October 2018

Barkley: I'm Ready For England Recall  (Sky Sports)

Ross BarkleyRoss Barkley says he is playing well enough for England recall despite only two Premier League starts for Chelsea this season.

Gareth Southgate will name his squad for this month's matches with World Cup finalists Croatia and Spain on Thursday, hours before Chelsea's Europa League Group L tie against Hungarian champions Vidi at Stamford Bridge.

Mateo Kovacic has been preferred of late in the Premier League, but Barkley started the Europa League win at PAOK and the Carabao Cup success at Liverpool.

"I'm playing a big role in the side at the minute and I believe my performances show I'm capable of being in the England squad now," the 24-year-old said.

Southgate last month outlined his desire for a creative midfielder in the mould of Paul Gascoigne, something which might have attracted Barkley's attention given prior comparisons made between the two players.

After a series of seasons interrupted by injury, including last term on joining Chelsea from Everton in January, Barkley believes he is improving under Sarri.

"His style of play really suits mine," Barkley added.

"I've played a lot of minutes. I feel as fit as I've ever felt before. I feel the amount of games I've played I'm ready to be called up, if called up.

"As the season goes on I'll show a lot more what I'm capable of, I'll start to score a lot more and assist a lot more."

Barkley said Chelsea are benefiting from Sarri's high-press style which sees the attacking players receive the ball closer to the goal.

The 59-year-old former banker, who backed Barkley for an England recall, is known for his meticulous approach and preparation.

"Over the years I haven't really been coached much but I'm at an age now where I understand football a lot more and I know how important it is to take different tactics from different managers on board," he said.

"Right now I'm ready to understand every aspect of the game."

Eden Hazard has scored seven goals in his last six games for Chelsea, who remain unbeaten in the Premier League under Sarri.

Barkley believes the Belgian's influence can only help him improve.

"To see how quick they think and taking into games, it's being on a similar wavelength to them," he said. "Playing with world class players is only going to take you to a better level."

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