Tuesday, 23 January, 2018

Conte welcomes Barkley at Chelsea as Blues announce first January signing

Chelsea complete transfer of Ross Barkley from Everton									
					Ross Barkley Chelsea complete transfer of Ross Barkley from Everton Ross Barkley
Eugene Bates | 08 January, 2018, 03:40

Barkley made 150 Premier League appearances for the Merseyside club he joined as an 11-year-old, making his league debut in 2011.

Barkley was on the verge of becoming a Chelsea player in the summer transfer window.

Barkley will wear the number eight shirt, formerly worn by Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and Oscar.

Speculation had been rife that Barkley even travelled to Chelsea for a medical only to change his mind at the last moment, news he denied. "I'm looking forward to continuing where I left off at the end of last season and hoping to improve and add more goals to my game".

The England worldwide joined the Blues for £15 million on a five-and-a-half year contract, after failing to make a switch in the summer due to hamstring injury. There is hope that Barkley will add versatility in the squad in central midfield, as a No.10 or as a wide player in the front 3, making him the ideal player to fit in Conte's 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 formations.

Club director Marina Granovskaia added: "Ross is a player we have long admired and are certain he will prove to be an important player for Chelsea".

A move to Chelsea on transfer deadline day in August did not materialise but Barkley has now moved to Stamford Bridge for a cut-price fee. He's a good prospect. He's very strong physically, good technique.

Barkley is out of contract at Goodison Park at the end of the season and Toffees boss Sam Allardyce admitted on Thursday the club are "resigned to losing him". "He is a complete player but at the same time he is very young and he has just started his career". I think that this could be positive because English players understand this league because they grow up in this league.

"He had a bad injury, he had surgery and he hasn't played for seven months".

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