SHEFFIELD WEDNESDAY: Recalled Ross Barkley praises Owls

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TEENAGE starlet Ross Barkley has paid tribute to Sheffield Wednesday after returning to parent club Everton following his loan spell at Hillsborough.

The talented 18-year-old, who initially joined the Owls in mid-September, was recalled by the Toffees yesterday, having notched four goals in 13 appearances for the Championship strugglers.

With captain Phil Neville facing two months on the sidelines after a knee operation and Darron Gibson (thigh) and Kevin Mirallas (hamstring) nursing injuries, Blues chief David Moyes has opted to bring Barkley back to Merseyside.

On Twitter, Barkley posted: “Thanks for all the messages from @swfc fans, really appreciate it, loved it at Wednesday.”

The young midfielder joined the Owls on a temporary basis in mid-September on an initial one-month deal.

His youth loan was later extended by another four weeks, with his final appearance coming in the loss to Nottingham Forest last Saturday.

Scotland under-21 international Rhys McCabe, who is vying with fit-again Chris Lines and Paul Corry to replace Barkley in Wednesday’s midfield engine room, added on Twitter: “Sad to see Ross go back but wish him all the best for the future.”

Lines is tipping Barkley to make a big impact at Everton and added: “Top player and a massive future ahead of him. .. shame we didn’t get a chance to team up!”

With Barkley gone, Dave Jones, the Owls boss, will have to make two enforced changes for the visit of Leicester City. Barkley’s place is up for grabs while defender Miguel Llera will serve a one-match ban after picking up five yellow cards this season.