Bengaluru, January 21: Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley lifts the lid on why he didn't join the Blues in the summer after terms were agreed and also said why he feels like this move will help develop into a World class player.
The midfielder only had six months left on his contract and Everton had reportedly accepted a £35million offer from Chelsea.
The midfielder reportedly made a trip to London to finalise the deal and was set for a medical in the final hours of the window. However, it was later reported that the 24-year-old made a last minute U-turn and opted to remain at Merseyside before sealing a £15m move January.
Many Everton fans following the transfer accused the player of dwindling them a hefty transfer fee and alleged the Scouser for creating a loss of £20million for his own personal financial gain, while Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson also asked the police to investigate the deal.
However, no criminal offence was found to have occurred. And the player has now opened up on the incident and suggested that because of consistent injury issues he decided to remain at Everton and instead of a move, he chose to improve his fitness in the meantime.
When asked about last summer’s failed move, the 24-year-old said: “I had a massive injury, which was really bad. I ruptured my hamstring and before that I had surgery two weeks earlier on a hernia, so before the season has even started I had two surgeries.
“At the time I couldn’t even walk, I was in a brace for six weeks and couldn’t put any pressure through my legs so I didn’t feel it was right to make a move at the time. I wanted to weigh up all my options and really think about what I am going to do with the next stage of my career.
“I have never had a muscle injury before, it was a weird one in training, I went in for a tackle, slipped and felt a pop at the top end of my hamstring and I pulled the tendon off the bone. It was really bad.
“After a few days I was having surgery in London and my future was all up in the air and I thought it was best to focus on getting fit, which took a while, and then I thought this was the right move for me.”
Barkley also suggested that his exit from the club was very emotional for him, but he also conceded he could not resist joining such a big club like Chelsea.
“Everton means the world to me," he said.
"I am a boyhood fan, I am a local lad and have supported Everton all my life, it was a very hard decision but I felt it was right to make the jump to Chelsea. I am grateful for what the club did for me over the years and it was hard to leave. The fans were great with me.”
The England international has been handed the iconic Number 8 shirt of Blues legend Frank Lampard and the player is yet to make an appearance for the Blues.