It’s usually the international boss telling a player they must get game time with their club, but Antonio Conte has never been one for convention. His first task for new signing Ross Barkley is to make the England World Cup squad.
Ross Barkley has never solidified himself as a strong contender in the England setup, which is excusable given the talent on offer in midfield. However, he’ll look to change that after moving to Premier League champions Chelsea.
According to ESPN, Antonio Conte is backing the Englishman to do so. The Italian boss has signalled that making the World Cup should be a motivational factor for Ross Barkley in the remainder of this season.
Ross Barkley moved from Everton to Chelsea, despite heavy interest from fellow London club, Tottenham Hotspur. He’ll be keen to impress Antonio Conte, but also Gareth Southgate in the upcoming decisive months.
“We are talking about a player with great talent. Before this bad injury he was with the national team. I think we have five months to show he deserves a call with the national team for the World Cup. I hope (he gets the call) because it means he will do very well with us.” – Antonio Conte on Ross Barkley (via ESPN)
The former Everton man will have a big ride in store, as he’ll look to prove he can play in Antonio Conte’s tactical system. It sounds like he’ll get a lot of help, with the Chelsea boss wishing great things of him. It’s not often you see a manager as enthusiastic about making the national team as the player, so this a good sign for Ross Barkley.
He’ll face competition from the likes of Jack Wilshere, Dele Alli, Adam Lallana, and many more. It’s certainly not going to be an easy ride, but do you think Ross Barkley can make it to the World Cup? Have your say in the comments section.