Gianfranco Zola opens up about Ross Barkley at Chelsea FC

The Chelsea FC assistant manager opens up about what has impressed him about Ross Barkley's form

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Chelsea FC playmaker Ross Barkley Photo: Screen grab

Gianfranco Zola has heaped praise on Ross Barkley for his “scoring ability” after the Chelsea FC playmaker’s impressive form.

The England international has made a brilliant start to the 2018-19 Premier League season under new Chelsea FC manager Maurizio Sarri.

Barkley has been given a consistent chance to perform in the Chelsea FC team and the playmaker has repaid the head coach’s faith with three goals in 10 games.

The 24-year-old scored his first Blues goal in a 3-0 win at Southampton before October’s international break before Barkley netted their equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.

The England playmaker produced his best performance in a Chelsea FC shirt at Turf Moor last weekend after he scored and made two assists in a 4-0 victory over Burnley.

Sarri’s ability to get Barkley to play with more creativity and freedom has already yielded three goals and three assists in six starts and four substitute appearances.

Chelsea FC assistant manager Zola, who is one of the west London side’s greatest-ever playmakers, raved about Barkley’s performances for the west London side this term.

“I think Ross likes to play more with the ball [than Frank Lampard did], and be involved with the passing,” Zola told his pre-match media conference ahead of their League Cup clash against Derby County.

“What I have seen in the last two or three weeks is his scoring ability, which is coming on very well.

“I knew this ability from the beginning, but at first it wasn’t showing because he was very much involved in learning tactically what he needed to do.

“Now he is getting that freedom.”

Barkley moved to Chelsea FC in a £15m deal from Everton in the January transfer window after the attacking midfielder struggled to perform under Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce at Goodison Park.

The Three Lions star came through the ranks under David Moyes in the 2011-12 season but Roberto Martinez managed to get the best out of the Everton youth product.

The Chelsea FC number eight netted 27 times in 179 games in all competitions during his six and a half seasons in the Everton first-team.

The Blues will look to extend their 10-game unbeaten run in the Premier League when Chelsea FC welcome Crystal Palace to Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

Chelsea FC are in third place in the Premier League table and two points behind Manchester City and Liverpool FC.

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