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Phil Jagielka says opposition targets Ross Barkley


Everton’s English midfielder Ross Barkley (R) challenges Swansea City’s South Korean midfielder Sung-Yeung Ki during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Swansea City at Goodison Park in Liverpool, northwest England, on November 1, 2014. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

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Ross Barkley burst onto the Premier League scene last year as a highly-talented teen controlling the Everton midfield.

Unfortunately for Barkley, this season hasn’t gone as planned.

[ RECAP: Everton 0-0 Swansea City ]

The 20-year-old midfielder injured his knee right before the start of the season, and didn’t make an appearance in the Premier League until October 18th. In his first three matches, it seems Barkley still needs some time to regain the form that earned him a spot on England’s World Cup roster last summer.

Following Everton’s 0-0 draw against Swansea City, the club’s captain Phil Jagielka said Barkley will have to get used to being a target by the opposition.

That is what happens to the best players. They watch the videos of him and they do target him to make sure if they keep him quiet in a game it can affect his team.

I wouldn’t say it was his best game but he kept on going, kept on going, kept on going. A lot of people in that situation can hide and not want the ball but I’d never expect Ross to be one of those players which will hopefully he finds those bits and bobs to get away from a couple of players will help in his career.”

Everton failed to score at Goodison Park for the first time this season even as Swansea were reduced to ten-men after Jonjo Shelvey was sent off in the 74th minute.

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Despite having a tough little stretch as of late, Barkley has loads of potential and will likely be one of the top midfielders in the Premier League and for England internationally for years to come. Teammate Samuel Eto’o said the youngster has the abilities to be better than Wayne Rooney, so don’t panic just yet Toffees fans.