The England international has made an encouraging start to the Premier League season under new Chelsea FC manager Maurizio Sarri after receiving a new lease of life in west London.
Chelsea FC signed the 23-year-old in a cut price £15m deal from Everton in the January transfer window after Barkley’s career started to stagnate at the Merseyside outfit.
Barkley struggled with injuries upon his arrival at Stamford Bridge and the England playmaker made just four appearances in the second half of the 2017-18 season at Stamford Bridge.
The Chelsea FC star has started four times and has made three substitute appearances in the current campaign to suggest Sarri is an admirer of the attacking midfielder.
Barkley produced his best performance in a Chelsea FC shirt in a 3-0 win over Southampton at St Mary’s in their last Premier League games before the international break.
The January signing created Eden Hazard’s opening goal before Barkley netted the west London side’s second strike to earn the man of the match award.
Barkley followed up that performance with an impressive performance in England’s 3-2 win against Spain in Uefa’s Nations League on Monday night, having featured for 90 minutes in a 0-0 draw in Croatia.
Former Arsenal defender Keown believes Barkley deserves a place in the Chelsea FC team following his excellent performances under Sarri.
“Barkley deserves to be in the Chelsea team,” Keown told the Daily Mail. “He has earned the right. I watched him in the Carabao Cup against Liverpool and he gave Maurizio Sarri plenty to think about.
“Before that game, I was concerned that he had not fully recovered from his hamstring injury. He did not seem to be committing fully to sprints. Now he is going full throttle.
“He gives England a range of passing that they simply did not have at the World Cup. Barkley is saying that Sarri is providing the best coaching he has had in his career. The penny has dropped for him. Sometimes that happens later for some players.
“Barkley is proof that you should never give up on players.”
Barkley will be hoping his form for club and country is enough to secure the attacker a starting spot against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea FC have won their last three Premier League games against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge since Jose Mourinho took over the reins from Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford in May 2016.
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