Jamie Redknapp has singled out Ross Barkley for special praise after the English playmaker’s decisive performance in Chelsea FC’s 3-0 win at Southampton on Sunday.
New Chelsea FC manager Maurizio Sarri has placed his faith in the 24-year-old despite Barkley’s lack of first-team football since his move to Chelsea FC back in January.
The Blues playmaker started in the middle of the park alongside Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, giving Barkley the freedom to push forward and support strikers Eden Hazard and Olivier Giroud.
The former Everton attacker provided the assist for Hazard’s breakthrough goal at St Mary’s before the England international doubled the home side’s lead in the 57th minute.
Substitute Alvaro Morata polished off the win with successive goals but it was Barkley who received most of the plaudits after his refreshing performance on the south coast.
Barkley’s second-half strike was his first goal for Chelsea FC since his cut-price £15m move to Stamford Bridge from Everton in the January transfer window.
Former Liverpool FC and Tottenham captain Redknapp credited Barkley with overshadowing Hazard in the Chelsea FC in Sunday’s 3-0 win at Southampton.
“It’s not often these days that a Chelsea player other than Eden Hazard gets named man of the match,” Redknapp told the Daily Mail.
“But that’s what happened on Sunday after Ross Barkley’s brilliant midfield display at Southampton.
“I interviewed him with Laura Woods afterwards and you could see the glint in his eye. He is loving his football once again.”
Redknapp added: “Barkley set up Hazard’s goal, tenaciously winning the ball back in midfield before threading in the Belgian with a superb pass. He capped his day with his first goal since last May.”
Barkley has suffered with a string of injury problems over the past few seasons, which have served to hamper his progress both at club and international level.
The England star struggled to break into the Chelsea FC team under Antonio Conte, who preferred a more pragmatic approach than attacking-minded Sarri.
Barkley’s improvement will be tested when Chelsea FC welcome Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday 20 October after the international break.
Chelsea FC are level on points with Manchester City and Liverpool FC in the title race after eight games, which has come as a surprise given Sarri’s delayed appointment in the summer.
The Everton youth product is facing competition from Mateo Kovacic, Cesc Fabregas and Jorginho in the middle of the park.
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