There is an age old belief within football circles that you cannot win anything with a side dependant on youngsters, yet me being the firm believer in youth development that I am, I cannot help but hope that the young stars of the future on display at the 2016 UEFA European Championships take this opportunity that fate has afforded them to make the world of football sit up and truly appreciate the magnificence that these wunderkinds have been created to grace us with. A plethora of talented players will be keen to showcase their talent in the 15th edition of the UEFA European Championship; we at GSV would like to hone our binoculars in on the u/23 players that will be looking to etch their mark on the global game, without further ado, we present to you the UEFA EURO 2016 Young Guns To Watch. Prendre plaisir!
DoB: December 5th, 1993 (22)
PoB: Liverpool, England
Position/s: Attacking Midfielder, Winger, Advanced Playmaker, Inside Forward, Trequartista (L/R/C)
Height: 1, 89m
Club: Everton Football Club
Club Career Record: 185 Games, 32 Goals, 23 Assists
National Team Record: 22 Caps, 2 Goals, 3 Assists
The Grand Stand View
England, as a football nation, has long been seen as perennial underachievers on the international stage, due to their shortcomings on the field, particularly at senior national team level. Glimpses of improvement have come in the form of the type of personnel they have decided to start looking at developing and blooding into the national setup again. We saw in Joe Cole how the nation truly missed out on maximising the world-class talent they had at their disposal, mainly due to playing him out of position or in a structure that couldn’t get the best out of him, and afford him the platform he needed to motivate his teammates through his magical talent.
Ross Barkley is a gifted young footballer crafted in the mould of great talents, like the Joe Cole’s and Paul Gascoigne’s before him; blessed with outstanding ability with the ball glued to his feet, Ross can be a potent threat running with the ball, or looking to pick out an advanced teammate with a scrumptious pass. An energetic midfielder who uses his great physicality to compliment his technical skills extremely well, one can easily see England playing great football with Ross at the heart of their attacking moves. A lot has been said about his need to develop an end product to his great all-round attacking play, the lad is still learning at the elite level and his game can only improve with regular football, something he hasn’t had in abundance during the last season at domestic & international levels.
The development of such a great talent has been stalled by some of the same pitfalls that befell Joe Cole, Ross has had to adapt to playing across the midfield over the past couple of seasons, and now much of the confidence that his game is based on is in need of a major boost. Playing a prominent role for the Three Lions in France at EURO 2016, and putting in the type of performances that boost his claim for a stake in the starting unit moving forward, will go a long way to giving his confidence the boost it so desperately needs.