Despite having an injury-riddled 2017-18 season, Chelsea’s Ross Barkley hasn’t given up hope of an England recall and his chief target for the current campaign is to become regular for club and country.
The 24-year-old former Everton midfielder is the only Englishman to have started both of Chelsea’s opening Premier League fixtures.
It’s been a difficult 2018 for Barkley as he arrived at Stamford Bridge in January with a hamstring injury and it appeared that then-Chelsea coach Antonio Conte hadn’t even sanctioned the purchase and was instead, forced to include a player he didn’t want.
Fast forward seven months and it appears that Conte’s successor—Maurizio Sarri— trusts him and so far, has started Barkley in three games (Community Shield and Premier League included).
“I’ve just got to do what I can,” Barkley responded when asked whether he’s in contention for Gareth Southgate’s England squad ahead of next week’s international break.
England play Spain (UEFA Nations League) on September 8 and Switzerland (international friendly) on September 11.
“I’m still learning and giving 100 per cent in training, trying to learn the new manager’s methods. Hopefully with my performances on the pitch I’ll be in the thoughts of the England manager.”
Chelsea have made an encouraging start to the season, with two wins from as many games to be level on points with defending champions and leaders Manchester City.
They beat Huddersfield Town 3-0 away on the opening day before following it up with a thrilling 3-2 win over London rivals Arsenal on the weekend.
“It’s a brilliant start, it was a difficult game against Arsenal but the main thing was to get the three points, the 24-year-old expressed.
With Cesc Fabregas injured, Barkley has been given the nod ahead of compatriot Ruben Loftus-Cheek and so far, the performances have been encouraging from the former Toffees man.
“We’ve started the season really well and got six points from two games. We’re feeling really confident, we’re still learning under the new manager but things are looking positive.”
Chelsea next play Newcastle United on August 26 at 2030 IST.