Everton manager Roberto Martinez insists Ross Barkley needs a “proper break” in the summer, dropping a big hint that he doesn’t want the England midfielder to play in the upcoming Under-21s European Championships.
Barkley is a part of the senior England squad, travelling to last year’s World Cup in Brazil, but there has been talk of a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s under-21 side.
Martinez isn’t so sure though and was quoted in the Mirror as saying: “We need to look after him and make sure he has that sort of standard for the rest of the season and has a proper break in the summer.
“Do that and we will have a player completely new for next season after the experiences he has had this season.”
The ex-academy player has suffered from a loss of form for the vast majority of the season and Martinez believes a long breather is exactly what Barkley needs to get back to his best.
He said, “What Ross brings is the bigger the occasion, the bigger the performance and bigger the response.
“What was pleasing last Thursday night was to see the ‘old’ Ross getting away from people, being so threatening with his forward pass and getting his shot away with either foot.
“He hit the post with his left foot and with his right foot. I loved seeing the signs of the old Ross appearing.”