Gerard Houllier - RIP :-(

12 Dec 2013

Gutted: Benitez tried to sign 'unique' €24m 'Gerrard-like' star for LFC

Of all the players labelled 'the next Steven Gerrard' - and there have been many of the years! - Everton star Ross Barkley is arguably the closest to being in the Gerrard mould (in terms of ability and potential), but as a staunch Evertonian, the possibility of Liverpool ever signing the youngster seems remote. Things could've been very different, though, had Barkley made a different decision in his schoolboy years.

In 2008, 14-year old Barkley scored two goals for Broadgreen International in the Liverpool Echo Cup Final, and who presented the trophy that day? Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez.

According to the BBC, Benitez and a host of Premier League scouts were 'impressed enough to want to sign him' but Barkley's loyalty to Everton meant there was 'nothing they could do'. Barkley's PE teacher at the time recalls:

"He [Barkley] was never distracted by any of the potential interest from anywhere. He was hugely loyal to Everton and I think that came across when he met Rafael Benitez. He was not arrogant or rude, but it was very much just a case of him saying 'thanks very much' and that was that."

In his first few years at the club, Benitez brought in a shedload of sub-par young players, many of whom disappeared into obscurity, but he started getting it right in his last couple of years at the club, signing the likes of Jonjo Shelvey, Raheem Sterling, and Suso. What a signing Barkley would've been, though! He is certainly highly regarded by ex-LFC players, who've been falling over themselves to praise the youngster over the last few months:

* Speaking to Sky Sports recently, Jamie Redknapp raved:

"Everton currently have one of the strongest squads I can remember them having, and at the heart of it is young English midfielder Ross Barkley. He is one of the most exciting youngsters I've seen, and if he hadn't broken his leg a few years ago he'd probably be a regular for England already".

Jamie Carragher added:

“There has been a lot of talk on Merseyside about Ross. We talk about the players that will come through and ask who is going to replace Steven Gerrard? Who is going to replace Frank Lampard? That goal on Saturday was Gerrard-like and Lampard-like"

Responding to Carra's praise, Everton boss Roberto Martinez - who described Barkley as 'unique' this week - took a more down to earth view of €24m-rated Barkley:

"That’s a great compliment and something you want to hear. I see what he [Carra] means. We’ve got to be realistic though. He’s not the finished product yet, but he realises what he has to do. He’s a great listener and the best is yet to come".

As Carra suggests, Barkley may well turn out be a natural heir to Gerrard, but there's probably no chance he'll ever actually replace Liverpool's captain at Anfield. After eight years at Goodison Park, Barkley is Everton through and through, and if he moves on, it's far more likely - given the David Moyes connection - that he'll end up at Manchester United.

Having said that, plenty of Everton fans have played for Liverpool over the years, including Steve McManaman, Michael Owen, Steve McMahon (who also played for Everton prior to joining LFC), and Jamie Carragher himself, so anything is possible.

In a recent interview, Barkley revealed that Reds captain Steven Gerrard is already giving him advice about his career. He told reporters:

"I was a bit star-struck when I first joined up [with England] but Steven was good to me when I was away. I sat next to him on the coach and he gave me loads of advice. He said playing is the main thing, going to another team and not playing would be no good for my development".

Hopefully, behind the scenes, Gerrard is trying to convince Barkley that his future lies at Anfield :-)

Author:


35 comments:

  1. blood on your hands11:21 am, December 12, 2013

    you've got no fucking chance, he hates you cunts.

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  2. Steven isnt trying to convince him to go to Anfield. He is trying to get him to stay loyal to his boyhood club (Everton) just like Stevie G did for Liverpool

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  3. That's why I said 'behind the scenes'.

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  4. It will be interesting to see how loyal he remains when Manchester United start throwing some bids in. Arsenal and Chelsea are also options.

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  5. Yes and despite the Moyes connection, Arsenal and Chelsea are better options considering the fact United are going down nowadays.

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  6. we'll see. don't jinx it.

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  7. Mirallas' right boot12:06 pm, December 12, 2013

    Why would Barkley consider going ANYWHERE at the moment......least of all to Liverpool? Under Martinez, he is leaning his trade under a proper manager in a very very good team. He still has a lot to learn but, if he carrys on in the way he has at Everton.....he will be a top top player!!

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  8. We should have bought Eriksen who is really the closest to Stevie G

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  9. I would give allen and lucas for him, maybe hendo as well, but I dont think everton will ever let him join us, they hate us too much to give us probably their best player, so gotta look elsewhere I guess..

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  10. You are referring to Steven Gerrard right? I would take Barkley any day over Eriksen. Eriksen wishes he was really the closest to Gerrard.

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  11. Im glad we didnt get eriksen, I was thinking just like you months ago but we are seeing what hes doing at spurs, nowhere near what avb expected, so I guess he was just a star in a poor league like many others.

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  12. I agree. He is not good enough yet to play for a big club like Liverpool or Manchester United. Let him learn his trade at a smaller club first and then get his big move.

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  13. Yet when he'd played a match people were crying we missed out on him. As I said them, give him a full season. Just like the toffee by the way

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  14. Ross Barkley = this year's Raheem Sterling

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  15. Fucking nob head typical liverpool scumbag

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  16. Our small club will finish above Liverpool again!! Are you looking forward to December?? hahahahahahahahaahahah

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  17. thought this is januzaj ;)

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  18. It is a bit worrying that Everton are the better club at bringing through homegrown talent.these days. Its nice that Rafa spotted him but did no one see him before the final? 14s not young to be scouted and if you cant find them in your own city theres a problem. Hopefully this wasnt the first time he came up on the radar.

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  19. Almost got it right Eriksen wishes he was as good as Barkley never will be any where as good as Stevie G.

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  20. Please...you don't even have a blog of your own where you people can post...

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  21. chelsea harwood has tweeted some interesting things today, very interesting.

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  22. Yep. If the 4 English CL spots were awarded on the basis of who's produced the most Prem players, only one Merseyside club would get one, and they play in blue.

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  23. I don't tweet, so...For instance?

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  24. very intresting indeed...

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  25. I don't get where did this got from? out did this start?

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  26. Big club shite team who cares how many leagues u win it's been 20 odd years , hopefull stays at efc till at least 25 then can go abroad to a big club that's still big barca Madrid Munich

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  27. U wish ross has shown real quality , sterling is to much of a tit he will endup like wright Phillips at best

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  28. How bitter can one kopite be ? Take a bow Eric !!

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  29. He was already playing with Everton youth whilst also playing for Broadgreen. Joined Everton at 10/11.

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  30. you dont need to tweet (I dont) just goggle it, id never get it past moderation.

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  31. Forgot the name of last "new Patrick Viera" from Everton, whom MCity bought for 15m (& now looks to be better fit for championship) - oh yes, now I can recall, the great potential DM - Jack Rodwell. This is the problem with English football - there is so little natural talent that anyone teenager with some glimpses of talent, British media starts a mayhem. I have heard similar (or even more) hype for Alex Oxled, Wickham, Rodwell, Sterling, Wisdom etc.



    Forget about Germany or Spain, even France has few teenage mid fielders easily better than any English U23 midfielder, including Wilshare. I think, best for Berkley 'll be to stay at Everton, play regularly & try to be an English regular. If he goes to any top EPL side, within few weeks 'll start warming bench & that 'll be it. For LFC, if we are really interested for a MF & willing to pay around 15m, try Pogba.

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  32. True m8 but. And i'm sure you'll agree with me on this. He'd be a lot happier a Liverpool :)

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