The Ringer’s James Yorke argues that Barkley was a waste of money for the Blues.
Ross Barkley, £15m, Everton to Chelsea
“One Premier League start, in which he lasted 54 minutes in a surprise 3-0 defeat at home to Bournemouth, and two substitute appearances in cup games make up the sum total of his game time for his new team. That might seem like bad luck, but the issue wasn’t hard to see: a mid-August hamstring injury meant that he played a total of zero minutes for Everton this season before his move.
“Barkley hadn’t kicked a ball in over eight months by the time he took the field for Chelsea. Even if you concede that he must have proved some level of fitness to Chelsea in order pass a medical, a further hamstring problem has meant Barkley missed all of February and March and is only now being slowly integrated back into the squad, with the season all but over.
“And that’s before getting into the other question: Is he even good enough for a club that won the Premier League just last season? He could still come good, but with his Everton contract expiring at the end of this season, Chelsea could have saved themselves a good chunk of change, waited for the player to prove his fitness, and landed him in the summer.
“Instead, they now own a player who has barely played for a year, and hasn’t proved his fitness. Why didn’t they wait?”