Chelsea signed Ross Barkley from Everton on a five-and-a-half-year deal on Friday, per the club’s official website. BBC Sport confirmed the fee is £15 million, a true bargain in today’s market.
Marina Granovskaia, club director at Chelsea, heralded the capture of a long-term target, per the statement:
“Ross is a player we have long admired and are certain he will prove to be an important player for Chelsea. He possesses outstanding technical and physical attributes, matched with good experience of the Premier League and a strong desire to succeed at the highest level. We welcome him to the club and look forward to seeing him in action.”
Barkley’s future was cast into doubt this past summer after he failed to agree to a new deal at Everton amid the arrivals of Wayne Rooney, Davy Klaassen and Gylfi Sigurdsson. Barkley also suffered a hamstring injury in August that required surgery.
As a result of the injury, Barkley has not featured for the Toffees this season, so it could take him some time to get up to speed with his new side.
Everton manager Sam Allardyce recently admitted he was resigned to losing Barkley during the January transfer window, even suggesting the midfielder’s future had been decided before he took over, per David Prentice of the Liverpool Echo.
Barkley is a supremely gifted player, having risen through the ranks at Everton. After loan spells with Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United, he enjoyed a breakout year in the 2013-14 season, in which he made 38 appearances.
Overall, he accrued 27 goals and 28 assists in 179 outings for the Toffees.
At his best, Barkley will contribute flair, power and an eye for goal in the middle of the park for Chelsea. Despite his qualities, Simon Johnson of the London Evening Standard noted Blues manager Antonio Conte didn’t appear overjoyed at the prospect of Barkley’s arrival.
However, it’s Barkley who should be apprehensive about moving to Stamford Bridge. He is joining a crowded midfield already populated by N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas and summer arrivals Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater.