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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 October 2018

Ross Barkley credits Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri for improvement

Barkley struggled for game time under previous Chelsea manager but says he is now hopeful of an England recall

Chelsea's Ross Barkley says young English players are not coached 'as much as you might think' once they reach first-team squads. Reuters
Chelsea's Ross Barkley says young English players are not coached 'as much as you might think' once they reach first-team squads. Reuters

Ross Barkley attributes his improvement at Chelsea to Maurizio Sarri's coaching, which he hopes will result in an England recall.

The 24-year-old midfielder joined Chelsea last January from Everton, where he broke through under Roberto Martinez and was a squad member under Ronald Koeman and Sam Allardyce.

Barkley says he is benefiting from Sarri's attention to detail, the 59-year-old former banker meticulous in his approach and preparation.

Barkley suggested young players breaking into Premier League first teams are not coached as much as perhaps they should be.

"Over the years I haven't really been coached much," Barkley said.

"When you go through the youth system, you're always going in to do analysis work, you're looking at every way of improving and your coaches are always on top of you.

"And once you go into the first team it can change, because game to game managers are focusing on weekly results, not player development.

"That's just the way it can go. Some players are more fortunate than others to have coaches fully focused on improvement.

"I believe that if I did have that type of approach from a coach when I was younger then maybe I would have improved a lot more.

"Where I am right now is where I believe I should be."

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Barkley missed out on a place in England's World Cup squad, but was on Wednesday hopeful of a recall under Gareth Southgate.

The England manager was set to announce his squad for the matches with Croatia and Spain on Thursday afternoon.

Barkley said: "I'm playing a big role in the side at the minute and I believe my performances show I'm capable of being in the England squad, hopefully."

Despite Sarri never having played at the highest level, Barkley says the Italian has the respect of his players.

Sarri endorsed Barkley's England credentials on Wednesday, ahead of Chelsea's Europa League Group L clash with Hungarian champions Vidi.

Barkley started Chelsea's first Europa League game, the 1-0 win at PAOK in Greece, and is expected to be included at Stamford Bridge.

Sarri has won plaudits for his management at Napoli, but is yet to claim a trophy in management.

The Italian hopes to claim silverware and Champions League qualification this season, with a top-four place and a return to Europe's elite competition the priority.

Sarri said: "To play in the Champions League is more important at the moment [but] I want to arrive in the end in the Europa League. I am here to win."