Everton manager David Moyes is confident Ross Barkley is ready to play for England U21s but has stressed the teenage midfielder remains very much a raw talent.
Barkley made an impressive senior debut for the Toffees in Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League defeat to Queens park Rangers and having kept his place in the starting line-up, put in another eye-catching display as Moyes’ side came from behind to beat Sheffield United 3-1 in the Carling Cup second round .
The 17-year-old has been called into Stuart Pearce’s England U21s squad for the first time, a level his club manager has no doubt Barkley will be able to handle. Moyes is, however, keen to point out the player has spent considerable time on the sidelines due to injuries and still has a long way to go in his development.
“I spoke to Pearce and he is ready for the U21s.”
Moyes said. “But the boy has not played enough.
“He made a couple of mistakes (against the Blades at Goodison Park) in the first half with the ball - you will find there will be times when he does things and you think it’s not maybe quite right. That is because he missed a year and has been plunged right in at the deep end.”
Barkley was involved in two of Everton’s goals against Sheffield United, who had taken the lead thanks to Richard Cresswell.
Asked what his reaction had been to United’s opener, the Scot said: “I thought ‘here we go’ because that is just where we are at the moment.
“But they kept going. We showed great resilience and the players didn’t let it get to them.”