Roberto Martinez has called for Ross Barkley to be given a “proper break” in the summer – which would mean him not going to the Under-21s European Championships with England.
Despite the midfielder playing for the seniors at last summer’s World Cup and now being a permanent fixture in Roy Hodgson’s squad, having been selected for the forthcoming Euro 2016 qualifier against Lithuania and friendly in Italy, there is still talk about him rejoining the under-21s for the June tournament in the Czech Republic.
Martinez has regularly expressed the opinion that Barkley has outgrown the junior side, mainly because he has already played at a World Cup.
The 21-year-old is just starting to show he is rediscovering last season’s form, most recently in last week’s Europa League exit to Dynamo Kiev, and the Toffees boss is keen for the youngster to have a rest.
Martinez told the Liverpool Echo: “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.
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“He hit the post with his left foot and with his right foot. I loved seeing the signs of the old Ross appearing.
“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.”