Boss Sees Ballack In Barkley
Martinez says youngster reminds him of former Germany captain.
Roberto Martinez says watching Ross Barkley reminds him of former Germany captain Michael Ballack.
The Spaniard has been impressed with the way in which Everton’s all-action midfielder has started the new season – form which has prompted comparisons to numerous Premier League stars.
Barkley yesterday celebrated his first senior England call-up after being named in the Three Lions squad for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine.
And asked about his prodigious teenage talent, Martinez said: “I look at Ross and you tell me what weakness he has? He hasn’t got one.
"He can use both feet, he can switch the play, he has a range of passing and can receive the ball in any area, he has a great shot and has incredible energy.
“He reminds me of Michael Ballack. When Ballack was younger, nobody knew what his best position was, could he be a sitting midfielder, an attacking midfielder or play up front? Ross is that impressive.”
Barkley hit the headlines last week after scoring a stunning goal in the opening day 2-2 draw at Norwich City.
The 19-year-old has now started the Blues' last three matches.
But despite his encouraging start to the new campaign, Martinez cautioned fans to remember the youngster still has plenty left to learn.
Reflecting on the England call-up, he added: “Roy [Hodgson] and I have spoken a few times, but England know him well.
"They have always had huge, high hopes for him when he was at the Under-19s [level]. When England got to the final [of the UEFA Under-17s tournament] and won the tournament, Ross was the main player. But then he broke his leg.
“He’s started our last three games. Against Betis he gave the ball away twice in a dangerous area. Against Norwich once. And against West Brom, he didn’t.
"It’s incredible how he takes things in and can develop, but he’s not the finished article.”