Pat Nevin: Ross Barkley has inspired 22-year-old Chelsea FC star
The Chelsea FC legend believes Ross Barkley is proving a source of inspiration for Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Ross Barkley’s impressive form in the Chelsea FC team has inspired Ruben Loftus-Cheek, according to Pat Nevin.
The England international has become an integral part of the Chelsea FC team since Maurizio Sarri took over the reins from Antonio Conte in the summer.
Barkley found his first-team opportunities limited under Conte in the second half of the 2017-18 season as the attacking midfielder continued his rehabilitation from injury.
However, the 24-year-old has hit the ground running in the current campaign and has enjoyed a fruitful October following a return of three goals in three Premier League games.
Barkley found the net against Southampton and Manchester United before the former Everton man produced arguably his best performance at Chelsea FC to date at Burnley last weekend.
The England playmaker made two assists and got on the score sheet in a 4-0 win over Sean Dyche’s side at Turf Moor, while Loftus-Cheek netted their fourth goal in the landslide victory.
Loftus-Cheek scored four goals in two games to finish October in style after the 22-year-old netted a hat-trick in a 3-1 win over BATE Borisov in the Europa League.
The Chelsea FC youth product has found his route into the Blues team congested following the arrival of Jorginho and Mateo Kovavic in the summer.
However, former Blues winger Nevin believes Loftus-Cheek is drawing inspiration from Barkley’s resurgence.
“It may be that Ross’s improvement is one of the other reasons why Ruben has had a breakthrough week too,” Nevin told Chelsea FC’s website before the clash with Palace on Sunday.
“With Ross muscling his way into what seemed a totally settled side, it has shown his younger England compatriot that there is actually a way in, it isn’t impossible after all.
“That way into the side isn’t complicated, it’s simply that you have to be good when you get your chance and you have to keep the levels up for the entire game, and then a run of games after that.”
Nevin added: “Ruben’s four goals in two games and his performances on top of that have made it impossible to leave him out of the match-day squad.”
Chelsea FC signed Barkley in a cut price £15m deal from Everton in the January transfer window to end his associations with the Toffees.
The Blues brought Loftus-Cheek back to the club in the summer after his season-long loan at Crystal Palace last term.
The England international impressed during his loan spell under Palace manager Roy Hodgson, finishing his period at Selhurst Park with two goals in 24 games in the Premier League to help the Eagles remain in the top flight.