Ex-Everton forward Graham Stuart has backed Ross Barkley to gain an England recall for the forthcoming games against Germany and Lithuania.
Barkley impressed in front of watching Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate as the Blues racked up a fifth successive home league win with a professional 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
And Stuart, now a Club ambassador, believes the midfielder has done enough to deserve his place in Southgate’s next party.
England travel to Dortmund to face Germany in a friendly on Wednesday 22 March, before welcoming Lithuania in a 2018 World Cup qualifier four days later.
Stuart said: “I think he does deserve a place and I’m not just saying it as an Evertonian but I’m saying it because I’m looking around the Premier League and I don’t see too many fantastic English attacking midfield players.
”I like Dele Alli at Tottenham and I thought we all saw that last week, but Ross was every bit as good as him down at White Hart Lane and continued that form against West Brom.
“The Dele Allis and the Ross Barkleys of this world are England’s future in my opinion, so I’d love to see Ross back in the side.”
Barkley’s last England appearance came as a substitute in a 2-1 victory over Australia in a Euro 2016 warm-up fixture last May.
The midfielder was included by Roy Hodgson for the tournament in France but didn’t play a single minute and has subsequently been absent from three different squads under two different managers.
However, the 23-year-old has rediscovered his best form since the turn of the year, convincing Stuart its the right time for him to begin building on his tally of 22 caps.
“I think Ross’ form over the last couple of months has really picked up, he’s been very, very good,” he added. “He’s shown everybody a desire and a hunger in the middle of the park, not only to work hard for the team but, moving forward as well, some of the decision making he’s making is excellent.
“We want to encourage him to take shots because we know he’s got dynamite in both feet and, with a few more goals and plenty of assists to come, I think Ross is going to finish the season off really strongly.”