6 Mar 2014

Lawro raves: 'Massive' £20m midfield star is 'pure gold'. Better than Coutinho...?

Liverpool legend Mark Lawrenson is the latest ex-Red to heap praise on Everton youngster Ross Barkley, a player Rafa Benitez tried to sign during his time at Anfield.

In a recent column for The Mirror, Lawro enthused:

"The more first-team action [Barkley] gets, the more we are seeing he is pure gold.

"Whether he is still at Goodison or moves on, he should develop into a massive midfield presence"

In recent months, both Jamie Redknapp and Jamie Carragher have praised £24m-rated Barkley's potential. Speaking to Sky Sports, Jamie Redknapp raved:

"Barkley 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"

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, who was 'impressed enough to want to sign him'.

Alas, Barkley's loyalty to Everton meant there was 'nothing they [LFC] could do' to convinced the youngster to join LFC. Barkley's PE teacher at the time recalled:

"He [Barkley] 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."

As Carra suggests, Barkley - recently described by Roberto Martinez as 'unique' - seems to have the ability to 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 Man Utd.

Gerrard is doing his best to help Barkley along, however, and in a recent interview, the midfielder told reporters:

"Steven was good to me when I was away [with England]. He gave me loads of advice. He said playing is the main thing, and that going to another team and not playing would be no good for my development".

This season, Barkley has regularly played the number ten role, with Pienaar and Mirallas alongside him, and the trio are an effective attacking weapon for Everton. Coutinho plays the same role for Liverpool, but if forced to choose between the two players, who would you rather have at Anfield? Who is the better player of the two, and who has the most potential?

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  1. 24 mil! Hahahaha try 50+

  2. I only said I would rather Ross because a player like him comes out once in a blue moon. Coutinho is in the same mould as Mata, Ozil, Silva, etc and while you might miss out on one there is more often other players in the same mould availible that can make those killer passes. Finding a player that bombs into the box, can score screamers, covers the pitch and make great defensive tackles while, most importantly, having the ability to grab the game by the scruff and lead a team to victory is very rare. As much as I love Coutinho, he's not gonna be winning games single-handedly...Barkley will

  3. Yeah they were great players. They waffle a fair amount of pish tho haha

  4. Coutinho is a player who will dictate the tempo and direction of a game and when he really develops,will kill teams with his final ball. Barkley is an all action,typical english player who is capable of moments of brilliance, that is best suited to the english game. Not sure Barkley would have the technical ability or discipline to play in any other league? Coutinho has the potential to be a world great,where as Barkley has the potential to be a great premiership player,two very different things in my opinion!?

  5. Razen LOL!!! Comparing coutinho to Silva, Nasri, Ozil, Mata!!! That's a typical deluded RS statement. Get a grip will yeah, he's good but nowhere near as good as the fore mentioned.

  6. What you wrote about "Barkley has the potential to be a great premiership player" is laughable and tells me you know nothing about football. Barkley has got the potential to be a world beater and you know it, just like all the ex Liverpool players and football pundits who have said the same.

  7. One player we should go all out for is Adam Lallana, with himself and Coutinho battling it out for the number 10 or both of them playing side by side would be amazing. we should also break the bank for Luke Shaw too.

  8. Mr. Point Of View8:17 am, March 07, 2014

    Gerard Deulofeu impact on game far better than 2 mentioned

  9. He is a good player, but has a way to go, just like Coutinho, to become brilliant.
    Personally I really like Coutinho, and would much rather have him.

  10. Chris Rossington10:09 am, March 07, 2014

    He's quick skillfull and powerful but coutinho has that killer pass in him along with being skillfull and a joy to watch on his day, gotta be the little Brazilian for me

  11. Barkley's good, but I do wonder whether his feet are quick as they might be, and whether his game intelligence is equal to his execution.

    He's a big unit, and looks like a player that might struggle as he gets older, and not too much older at that. He doesn't have the elegance on the ball of e.g. Van Bommell in his prime, or Schweinsteiger, or the outright effectiveness and work-rate of Lampard, all of whom were or are also big lads but could control a game in a way that I'm not sure Barkley will, because his game is more like that of Wilshere or Iniesta, bursting out of pressure to launch transitions. But he's simply not as evasive, as aerobically durable, or as tactically astute as those players.

  12. They all play different positions though...?

  13. I honestly don't rate Barkley. I think he is fast and has a powerful shot. He looks good to watch but he has so many holes in his game. Shelvey, Henderson, Wilshere, Ramsey and Chamberlain have all returned far more in terms of goals and assists and Chamberlain aside, the other 4 all play deeper than Barkley. Average player with potential. Coutinho hasn't been great this season yet he still has the same amount of goals and more assists than Barkley who is supposedly having the best season of his career. Says it all really! I have checked a couple of stat sites now and apparently Barkley hasn't assisted a single goal. Pretty poor for a number 10. 24 games, 3 goals, 0 assists.
    Coutinho on the other hand has 23 games, 3 goals and 4 assists.

  14. Only season of his career*

  15. As a toffee I still think Barkley has a lot to do to improve his game - some of his passing and decision making is shockingly bad. A few times we've had 3 on 2 and if he played a simple pass an almost certain goal but it ends up going to a defender or for a throw-in!
    Coutinho a great little player and a bit more mature, but I'll still stick with our Ross for his potential!

  16. B Rodgers should not waste his time with H Mkhitryan again, went for him he chose B Dortmund. That should be the end of that, If B Rodgers makes top 4 and gets us champions league.

    He will need to ship out these 8 dead wood average players or injury prone players in the summer and 1 world class player he no longer wants at club:

    8 Dead wood average or injury prone players:
    GK B Jones
    RB M Kelly
    CB S Coates
    CB K Toure
    AM L Alberto
    RWF : O Assaidi
    FD: F Borini
    FD: I Aspas

    World class player no longer needed or wanted by B Rodgers:
    GK: P Reina

    Those 9 players would bring the club in £35-£45M to club.

    And B Rodgers also needs to ship back and ship out the two abyzmal, pathetic loan signings we have had this season: LB: A Cissokho and RWF/ LWF: V Moses

    FSG will then need to also give B Rodgers another £100-£110M to spend over next two transfer windows on top of the £35-£45M he can and will bring clearing the dead wood average injury prone players from Squad.

    To bring in these 10 class quality players: So there is class, quality competition for places in every position within the Squad.

    Five Defensive players and Five attacking players:

    Five Defensive Players: Combined cost : £31-£47M for these 5 class quality Defensive players

    GK: A Mccarthy(24) Of Reading for £5-£8M to compete with Mignolet

    CB: S Caulker(22) Of Cardiff for £8-£11M to compete with Skrtel

    RB: N Clyne(23) Of Southampton for £5-£9M to compete with Johnson

    LB: B Davies(20) Of Swansea for £5-£8M to compete with Enrique

    DM: M'Vila(23) Of Rubin Kazan for £8-£11M to compete with Lucas

    Five Class Creative Pacey Quick attacking players: Combined cost: £58-£81M

    CM: Koke(21) Of A Madrid for £17-£22M to compete with Allen and Henderson

    AM: A Lallana(25) Of Southampton for £14-£20M to compete with Coutinho and Suso

    LW / LWF: Y Konoplyanka(25) Of Dnipro for £12-£16M to compete with IBE

    RW / RWF: N Redmond(20) Of Norwich for £4-£7M to compete with Sterling

    FD: L Muriel(23) Of Udinese for £12-£16M to compete with Suarez and Sturridge

  17. This is also Coutinho's first full season of his career. Before then he'd had cameos (lile Barkley) and about 12 games with us at the back end of last season. His performance levels have dropped since his debut, and yet he's still out performing Barkley. Just my opinion mate, Barkley is just over hyped because he is English and comes from a prestigious accademy.

  18. It doesn't surprise me the amount of hype created by Barkley. Scarcity of English football talent is so much that any half decent English teenager creates mayhem. I know, it's not a popular post, but last Everton kid creating similar hype now days don't even get the opportunity to warm the City bench & at 19, he was sold for 15mn. Wilshire is hyped at least twice than Barkley, but honestly speaking, he 'll not make into Spain, Germany, Brazil or even French 23 men squad.

    Lots of big talks regarding Barkley, few funny enough to predict that he can win matches single handed, but English people should smell the coffee & try to find where he stands compared to Goetze, Draxler, Pogba, Koke, Isco etc.. Comparison with Coutinho is a bit silly because two are different planets, for different positions. Still, any given day, I 'll go for Pipo. Actually spending big on English so called talent is one of the biggest gamble in football. However, maybe we can rethink in June, when England returns early from Brazil. The position Barkley plays, English supporters 'll see what actually it means, albeit a bitter way, when Chile (Arturo Vidal) knocks England out of WC.

  19. i reckon even Costa rica could knock us out! Any English talent is always over-hyped and over priced, but I do think Barkley will become an England regular in the future. If England played their own brand of football instead of trying to out play teams in their own natural game then we might have a chance of winning games instead of trying to bore teams into submission.
    Fingers crossed we'll all be proved wrong and Roy will let the kids learn a few lessons.
    Let's also hope that glory days are returning to Merseyside and that we will both be winning trophies - good luck on the run-in Liverpool, I think you've got a real chance of winning the league (though ot pains me to say!)

  20. Stats wise they're quite similar, but Coutinho edges it by a bit. Both need to work on their finishing. Surprisingly, Barkley makes more dribbles, and Coutinho makes more tackles - you'd think it was the other way around.
    Besides that, what Barkley possesses being a bigger player is what is perceived as power, intimidation, which Coutinho doesn't. Both are alright, but at roughly the same age, Coutinho is playing better, 3 goals 3 assist, vs 3 goals.
    They're close. The jury is still out on what they will become.

  21. We don't need to spend this kind of money on a forward we are desperate for quality central mids at least 1 - drop 20m on that

  22. Simon Joseph Lau11:18 pm, March 07, 2014

    Despite where Barkley regularly plays, he is not a fair comparison with Coutinho. Even back in the day, Gerrard and Deco were very different types of players.

  23. I very2 hopes that next season Ross Barkley will become new player for LFC.He has great talent and good idea for replacement Steven Gerrard. I very sure that he can deliver new style of system at LFC.LFC maybe can swap Joe Allen to get Ross Barkley.Work hard to make sure he including into LFC squad.

    He is genius,creative and dangerous player.It is very worth to get him.