For Everton, 20-year-old midfielder Ross Barkley has grown into an important player for the Toffees, and losing him to a six-week knee injury doesn’t bode well for Roberto Martinez’s side in the short term.
According to The Guardian, Barkley injured his knee today as Everton began preparations for their opening Premier League competition against newboys Leicester City, and wore a knee brace when he exited the training ground. The certain extent of his injury will not be confirmed until his undergoes a scan on Saturday, but reports have detailed that his injury recovery time should be around six weeks.
In that case, Barkley would miss six games, and maybe a seventh, absent for contest vs. Leicester, Arsenal, Chelsea, West Bromwich Albion, Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Manchester United. Additionally, he would miss part of Everton’s Europa League and Capital One Cup competition.
Due to his great form a year ago, the midfielder recently signed four-year, £60,000-a-week contract this summer, keeping him at Goodison Park until 2018.
While Barkley totaled six goals in 34 appearances last season, his influence ddidn’t stop at his goal tally, since his technical play in the midfield made his team better as a whole. He was seen spearheading attacks, and his ability to do so earned him a World Cup spot on Roy Hodgson’s English squad.
Muhamed Besic, a new signing of Everton from Hungary’s Ferencvaros, is now poised to make his debut against Leicester City in place of Barkley.
The third Manchester Derby of the season is the first away from Old Trafford, as Manchester United visits Manchester City (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.
There’s much on the line, as the sides sit just two points apart in the race for the Top Four. Man City would leapfrog third-place Liverpool with a win, while United could join the Reds on 66 points with a match-in-hand.
Of note, Ayre admitted that the club thought Dele Alli demanded too much given what he had produced when the Reds has the chance to sign him as a 16-year-old, and said that Liverpool could’ve landed Alexis Sanchez but the player wanted to live in London (“We couldn’t move the football club to London, unfortunately,” he quipped).
The best part relayed by Sky Sports had to do with Luis Suarez, and shows the relentless nature of the transfer market. Clearly Barcelona had interest in Suarez before the fiery striker bit Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, because, well…
“I remember the sporting director of Barcelona calling me during that game, immediately as Suarez bit the player, and he said to me ‘my friend, he’s bitten somebody, how can this be the price?’ I said ‘he’d already bitten somebody when you first bid!'”
We’re sure there’s a certain amount of storytelling in there, but undoubtedly some truth.
Given Barca paid a reported $84 million for the striker, the asking price couldn’t have started that much higher.
Rog and Davo return to discuss Chelsea’s FA Cup semifinal victory over Spurs, update their Top Four predictions (again), and dive into the depths of the relegation zone. Plus, the very important movement to change “Hudson Street” to “Ray Hudson Street.”
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“When we started out, it was all different, that was 20 years ago. Now a 20-year-old will get into the first team and have more Instagram followers than Messi. When I was young, the older players would say ‘it wasn’t like in my day’ – that’s life and it always will be.
“Mind you, some of them irritate me too. When I see them do live Instagram videos from inside the locker room before a game, I’d like to take a baseball bat to their teeth… But they’re 18 years old and in 20 years’ time they will find themselves complaining about the youth of today.”
Mmmm, tastes like ash and hickory.
It’s a safe bet that De Rossi isn’t wild about Stephan El Shaarawy’s hair, we imagine, but living legends generally get a little leeway with their comments in the media.
Plus, it sounds like he has the wisdom to understand the “why” and at least channel his angry into tackles.