Barkley’s time at Stamford Bridge has hardly been a memorable one since the England capped midfielder arrived at the club at the start of 2018. Injuries and a loss of confidence saw the Liverpool-born player relegated to a peripheral role at the club with chances being hard to come by for him under the coaching reigns of Antonio Conte.
However, a new lease of life has been sparked in the 25-year-old’s Chelsea career if his performances in the pre-season are anything to go by.
Lampard’s return to Stamford Bridge as the replacement for Maurizio Sarri has turned out to be the difference for Barkley with the midfielder flourishing under the watchful eyes of the Chelsea legend.
With Eden Hazard departing for Real Madrid in the summer, Barkley has been thrust into a more attacking role by Lampard and the midfielder has taken his chances with both hands in pre-season.
After scoring the winner against Barcelona in an International Champions Cup clash, Barkley also notched goals in the wins over Reading and Red Bull Salzburg as well the most recent 2-2 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach.
While his strikes against the two Bundesliga outfits came via the penalty spot, there was no denying the quality behind his goal against Reading which came through a sumptuous free-kick.
“In training the manager has been saying, ‘Express yourself on the pitch, take risks, don’t be too safe, shoot, try and create chances’,” Barkley said recently of Lampard’s growing influence.
“It is something I can do and it is what he has been putting into me in training and the pre-season games.”
There definitely couldn’t be a better teacher for Barkley to learn the ropes of midfield from. And the former Everton man will now be hoping to take the new found confidence into the upcoming UEFA Super Cup clash against Liverpool.