Everton – Martinez tells England U21s to avoid Barkley

Gareth Thomas Football 1 Comment

England U21s made it a successful international break by qualifying for the European Under-21s Championships next summer but now Everton boss Roberto Martinez wants them to avoid picking Ross Barkley. BBC Sport report that Martinez is worried about the fitness of his midfielder who is only just returning from injury.

Gareth Southgate, manager of England U21s, has some decisions to make about his squad and whether he picks the eligible players who have not featured as part of qualification. Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are highly touted to take part but 20-year-old Ross Barkley is also an eligible player for the tournament. This would be seen as a controversial move and possibly cause a club versus country row.

Everton gaffer Martinez said about Barkley: “If the tournament was now it would be a good opportunity for him to get some playing time but if it is at the end of a season where he has played consistently for 10 months then he needs to have a break”. This is as a result of the knee-ligament injury Ross Barkley is just set to return from that he suffered the day before the beginning of this campaign.

Barkley is a Merseysider by birth and has played 47 Premier League games for the Toffees becoming a key man at Goodison Park. He has heavily been linked with moves elsewhere with Manchester United interested but Martinez will seek to keep hold of his talisman and get it fighting fit and firing for Everton again.

Do you think senior players should be allowed to play for England in the European Under-21s Championships next summer?