Ross Barkley has made it clear to Everton and Ronald Koeman that he wishes to leave the club in the summer. And this statement has heightened the interest of Tottenham Hotspur for the English International. But if the latest reports are to be believed then Pochettinho is not looking to sign Barkley for his attacking abilities but he wants the 23-year-old to be a replacement for Mousa Dembele – a defensive midfielder.
But is Pochettino really thinking in the right direction?
We understand where Pochettino is coming from. He feels that Dembele has just turned 30 and with each passing day the Belgian is winding out. So the Spurs manager wants Barkley to fit into that role. But to be very honest, Ross Barkley might be a disaster in that role. Simply cause he has never done it before. If you go through Ross Barkley’s profile in Who Scored then you will find that there are three characteristic weakness in the Englishman’s play – defensive contribution, concentration and tackling. And the last time we checked these three qualities were very important if one had to be called a good defensive midfielder.
Barkley likes to make forward runs, run through defences, dribble past players because that’s what he has been doing since he was a little chap. And suddenly pulling him out of that role and making him play as a defensive midfielder is similar to asking a musician to engage in a fist fight.
Well, the last time a manager tried to drag a forward player back into defensive midfield it went horribly wrong. Such was the disaster that the player eventually dropped form and has just made a move back to his boyhood club on a free transfer. And with Ross Barkley, Pochettino might also make the same mistake.
Spurs are having one of the weakest transfer windows amongst the big clubs and now suddenly a player of their interest is available in the market, so we believe that Pochettino will try his level best to get him on board. But we have a feeling that the Spurs manager is going after Ross Barkley for all the wrong reasons.