Everton had agreed to sell Barkley to the Londoners for £35m in the summer before the move fell through. Six months on, and with Barkley sidelined during that entire time with a hamstring injury, Chelsea have got their man for just £15m (plus add-ons). With Barkley refusing to extend his contract at Goodison Park and out of contract and available on a free next summer, Everton needed to get something for their ‘precious stone’. In the transfer market world where sums are inflated for almost any player, and given the potential of Barkley, this seems like a bargain of a deal for Chelsea.

*Is Barkley Chelsea’s next best midfielder?*
The Blues’ new midfielder is far from the finished article but then, so was the club’s all-time record goalscorer, Frank Lampard, when he arrived at Stamford Bridge. Indeed, Barkley has been regarded as one of his country’s brightest talents ever since he broke into the Everton first team as a teenager, having been immediately hailed as the next best thing in English football. Of course, the Blues have been tracking Barkley for more than a year and would have signed him during the summer transfer window had a hamstring injury not prompted the player to have a rethink. It did not diminish Chelsea’s valuation of Barkley, though, as underlined by the fact that they have given him the No.8 shirt worn by Frank Lampard, the prolific midfielder who silenced his early doubters by going on to become the club’s highest goal scorer.

However, he has to add more goals and assists to his game. He racked up 21 league goals and 19 assists during his time at Goodison Park but that will need to improve as he now tries to break into a starting line-up currently boasting players of the calibre of Hazard, Willian, Fabregas and Pedro. Barkley, with his potential and a better environment to blossom, Antonio Conte believes he is a complete player and can fulfill his potential in the west London club. With the price the club bought the midfielder for, with his proven potential and with better players to compete with, one can say it is a good bargain both for the club and the player



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