Tuesday, 20th May, 2014

Everton defender Phil Jagielka believes his team-mate and compatriot Ross Barkley will have an important role to play for England in the upcoming World Cup.

The midfielder, who was in fine form for the Toffees in the 2013/14 campaign, was included in the nation’s 23-man World Cup squad by Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson last week.

The 20-year-old scored seven goals in 38 appearances in all competitions for Everton in the recently concluded season, in addition to providing three assists.

And Jagielka, who feels Barkley’s game has developed over the last 12 months, however, urged the England faithful not to heap too much pressure on the youngster.


"Ross is a fantastic player and he's obviously very frustrating to play against because he's got a tremendous amount of ability”, the centre-back explained to his club’s official site.

"I'm not 100 per cent sure what role he'll have during the World Cup but I'm sure it will be a very important one, whether it be starting or coming off the bench.

"He's grown not only as a player but as a person over these last 12 months and you can see the confidence playing pretty much week in and week out has given him. That has helped his game develop.

"But he's only 20-years-old and we shouldn't get too carried away. Hopefully there are a lot of international appearances ahead for Ross."

Barkley, who has a further two years left on his present contract with Everton, has thus far made earned three senior caps for England.

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