Sarri backs Barkley for England recall

Getty Images
The Chelsea boss praised the 24-year-old for his recent improvements and insisted that he should be considered for a return to England duty

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri believes that Ross Barkley can make a return to the international stage, after his displays for the club at the start of the 2018-19 campaign.

The midfielder has featured in six of the Blues' opening seven Premier League games this term, playing an important role in the team's unbeaten start.

Barkley moved to Stamford Bridge from Everton back in January for £15m (€17m/$19m), but only managed to appear four times under then boss Antonio Conte, which saw him fall way down the pecking order at the club.

However, the Englishman is enjoying his football again under Sarri and seems to be improving his all-round game, as the Blues chief acknowledged in a press conference on Wednesday .

When asked if Barkley's recent performances merited a place in the England squad, Sarri replied: "I think so because he is improving week by week.

"I think that he can improve more because he has the potential to improve more. And so I think he can return to the national team. 
"I think so. He has played more than the last season in two months.

The Italian continued by referring to Barkley's serious hamstring injury at the beginning of last season, stating that he has bounced back strongly in the face of adversity.

"He had a big, very serious injury one year ago," Sarri added.

"He can improve from the tactical point of view, he can improve from the physical point of view.

"He is very good from the technical point of view, so he can become a very good player, a great player."

Article continues below

Another midfielder fighting for regular playing time at Chelsea is Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has yet to start a single league game under Sarri.

He is in line for a starting berth against Videoton in the Europa League on Thursday, which Sarri revealed to reporters ahead of the clash by saying: "He was unlucky in the last three weeks, after the national team. He had a problem. In the last five, six days, he has been better, so I think he is able to play tomorrow. 

"He needs to get used to the pressure. It's normal for a player of a high level to have pressure from the club, from the newspapers, from the television, from the manager."