Wednesday 07 March 2012
Everton manager David Moyes says fans can expect to see more of young star Ross Barkley in the Barclays Premier League.
The 18-year-old midfielder has made five League appearances this season - but his only first-team action so far in 2012 was as a late substitute in the FA Cup win over Blackpool on February 18th.
Barkley won admirers for his early-season performances, but Moyes said it would have been a mistake to ask too much of the talented youngster too soon.
"There are certainly signs that he is getting better"
- David Moyes
The Everton boss said that as well as his youth, he was factoring in the recovery from a serious leg break suffered in October 2010.
"My intention is to reintroduce Ross back into the first-team squad and my idea was always to do it around April time," Moyes said.
"I've told the boy what my thoughts were. I think he needed six months of games.
"I hear a lot of people asking where Ross is but he's not been ready to play in the team. But there are certainly signs that he is getting better now.
"I think it was for his own good. He needed the games and we've played him in the reserves and the youth team.
"We've tried to get as many games into him as possible because he missed a year and a half of football prior to that.
"He's missed so much football and now I'm looking to reintroduce him again towards the end of the season, when I think it's a bit easier to do."
"I think he will be an outstanding talent for England in the future"
- Sir Trevor Brooking
Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA's director of football development, is among Barkley's supporters, saying: "I think he will be an outstanding talent for England in the future."
But Moyes said he wanted to nurture Barkley's talent and said giving him a rest from the first team through the winter months would benefit him in the long-term.
"He'll be better once he gets back and has had the games," he said.
"He played very well for England Under-19s [in the 2-1 win over the Czech Republic on February 29th] so there are good signs we have a real promising player here.
"But that's what we do here, we bring them along at the right speed and hopefully we end up doing the right thing."