Phil Jagielka: ‘Ross Barkley can handle attention’

Ross Barkley Everton Midfielder

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Everton defender Phil Jagielka believes team-mate Ross Barkley has the ability to deal with extra attention from opposition defenders.

Barkley has shot to prominence over the last year after breaking on to the Premier League stage under Roberto Martinez.

The midfielder was used sparingly by former boss David Moyes and spent most of his time gaining experience out on loan in the lower leagues.

After being trusted to regularly turn out for the Merseyside outfit last season, the 20-year-old grasped the opportunity with two hands.

Performances of a high standard led to Barkley being called up to Roy Hodgson’s England squad and he was involved at the World Cup in Brazil in the summer.

Reports this term have suggested that Chelsea and Manchester City are eyeing the Englishman as he continues to light up the division.

Due to his growing reputation, Barkley has found less space and time on the pitch this season, but Jagielka is confident he can adapt his game.

Jagielka said: “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.

“He is going to have to deal with it and I can’t see it getting much easier for him as he goes on in his career, but he’s more than capable of dealing with it.”

Everton can be backed at 21.00 to win the Europa League this season.

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