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Ross Barkley: Chelsea move has made me an even better player

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Ross Barkley reckons his recent progress has justified his decision to leave Everton for Chelsea in January 2018.

The 25-year-old came through Everton’s youth ranks and established himself as one of England’s brightest young talents.

Barkley, who has been compared to Paul Gascoigne and Michael Ballack in the past, made 179 appearances for Everton before sealing a £15m move to Chelsea last year.

Naturally, this caused upset among the club supporters with critics questioning the wisdom of Barkley’s decision. As breaking into Chelsea squad would prove to be no mean feat for the midfielder.

However, Barkley has defied expectations at Stamford Bridge by becoming a regular under manager Maurizio Sarri this season.

And the former Everton star’s fine run of form continued on Monday after scoring his first international goals since October 2015 to help England defeat Montenegro 5-1.

“Yes, exactly,” replied Barkley on the Independent, when asked if the Chelsea move was required.

“I’m away from my family and down in London by myself. In a totally different environment from Liverpool. I miss being with my family, it is totally different. It is how I am maturing as a person and a player. It is good.

“Since I made the move it was good to challenge myself and win trophies and to improve as a player. I’ve changed compared to when I was 18, 19 or 20.

“My diet is much ­better. My ­approach to games is much better and I am going into them with the right ­preparation and I am more ­relaxed, rather than think about things too much.”

The England international has made 40 appearances across all competitions for Chelsea this season. He’s also chipped in five goals and assists in the process.

Now Barkley will be aiming to carry over his form during the international break back to Chelsea. Where the Blues will take a trip to Cardiff City for a Premier League match on Sunday.

LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 19: Ross Barkley of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Emirates Stadium on January 19, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)