The 39-year-old says the Everton youngster reminds him of Wayne Rooney and has urged the Three Lions to "go for the jugular" in their World Cup opener against Italy
The Everton youngster enjoyed a breakthrough campaign with the Toffees last season scoring six goals in 34 appearances and helping Roberto Martinez's men to a fifth-place finish.
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"I was watching the England vs Ecuador friendly in an airport lounge, a bit back from the screen," he told Paddy Power Blog.
"In the first-half Ross went on a run and I thought, 'Bloody hell, is that Rooney?' Barkley made me think of Wayne at Euro 2004. I had to take a second look because I thought it was Wayne.
"There is no point taking people like Raheem Sterling or Ross Barkley to Brazil 'for the experience'. Play them.
"Some people might say it's risky. But these players have the fitness and ability to get the ball back if they lose it [hopefully not in dangerous positions]. You want them to attack and give the opposition problems."
England open their World Cup campaign against Italy in Manaus on Saturday and Scholes feels the team must play attacking football if they are to progress.
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"Now is a great chance for Roy Hodgson to give English football the identity we've lacked. Tell the world: this is how we play – attack!"
"Roy Hodgson has little to lose by going for the jugular. Will we be satisfied if England scrape through to the quarter finals playing negative football? Let's not do that and take responsibility for what happens if we go for it. Let these England players off the leash."