Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has expressed his delight over the recent form of Ross Barkley, after the midfielder's much publicised problems struggling to adapt to life at Stamford Bridge following his move from Everton in January..
The 24-year-old had been a peripheral figure at the club following his £15m arrival from Everton. However, this campaign he's been a star performer for the Blues, scoring three goals and providing three assists in ten Premier League appearances, while his displays have seen him earn an international recall with England.
While Sarri is happy with the progress Barkley has made during his time at the club, the Italian admitted the midfielder was 'in trouble' when he arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer as he replaced the outgoing Antonio Conte.
As quoted by The Mirror, ahead of Chelsea's game against Everton, Sarri said: "At the beginning, in the first month, Ross was in trouble. But then he started to improve in every training session, in every match.
"I am surprised how he has adapted if I think back to the first month, but not if I think of the last two months. At the moment, from a tactical point of view, Ross is a step ahead of Loftus-Cheek because Ruben in the first part of the season had two or three little injuries."
After defeat in the Community Shield, Chelsea are unbeaten in 17 games in all competitions, with Barkley becoming a key figure in Sarri's side, as his manager paid tribute to the technical ability he possesses.
Kovacic left Real Madrid to be in Ross Barkley's shadow. Poor guy.— Kiyan Sobhani (@KiyanSo) November 8, 2018
Sarri added: "I like Ross very much. He is a complete player. He has physical qualities, he is fast. Technically he’s very good.
"He kicks well with his left foot and his right. He’s improving in moving the ball.He has become mentally quicker and he is improving tactically. He is on the way to becoming a very important midfielder, not only for us but also for England."