Bengaluru, January 8: Frank Lampard lauds Chelsea's £15million signing of Ross Barkley as a brilliant move for the promising player, but, advised him to step up his game to secure a place in Antonio Conte's side.
The Merseysiders earlier offered the 24-year-old a contract extension to remain at his boyhood club. But he decided not to commit his future at Goodison Park and now has moved to London.
In the Summer, it was reported that Chelsea were close to a deal for Barkley while Tottenham Hotspur were also believed to be in the race. But the 24-year-old made a last minute U-turn and decided to stay with the Toffies on deadline day.
The midfielder only had six months left on his contract and subsequently underwent surgery on the hamstring injury during pre-season, and he is yet to make an appearance this season.
The England international has been handed the iconic Number 8 shirt of Blues legend Frank Lampard and as per the retired all-time record goalscorer of Chelsea, the acquisition of the talented midfielder for such a low fee was a no brainer.
"It’s a no-brainier," Lampard told BT Sport. "I think £15m for someone of the ability of Ross Barkley it’s a great deal for Chelsea.
"We’ve talked about him for a while though and he hasn’t fulfilled his potential. But there are players in this market who are moving for £30m or £40m who are of a lesser ability."
Our new number 8️⃣ is in good company! 👌https://t.co/xWI40aZruR— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 6, 2018
Lampard, however, had some advise for the youngster to gain a regular first-team berth he must perform on a consistent basis for the Blues.
"Now it’s up to Ross, though. At Everton he was allowed to do it in fits and spurts. Five games here and six games there.
"He won’t get away with that at Chelsea. He’s got to be disciplined, work hard and show he’s capable of adding things to his game.
"I think he can do it but it’s down to him now."
Thanks for all the welcome messages. 🙌🏻 https://t.co/qvWfR88q1E— Ross Barkley (@RBarkley20) January 5, 2018
Barkley had recorded decent numbers last season where he scored five goals and made eight assists in 36 Premier League appearances for Everton, but, has been inconsistent with his performance.
Chelsea who are short of established players in the squad will surely benefit from Barkley's addition and will now hope that the England international performs to his true potential.