18 Jul 2019, 22:27 IST
What’s the story?
Chelsea star Ross Barkley has expressed his excitement ahead of a potentially grueling season under new boss and former national teammate Frank Lampard. The former Everton man declared that being an attacking midfielder, he has always looked up to Lampard.
In case you didn’t know…
Barkley broke into the first team at Goodison Park as a teenager, later rising in stature to be widely renowned as a sensation. That in turn, led to a call-up ahead of the 2014 World Cup, which also happened to be Lampard’s last for England.
While Lampard was the oldest player, at 36, to be a part of a talented English outfit, Barkley was still taking his early steps in the international arena. Now, with the appointment of the club’s record goal-scorer as Chelsea boss, the duo are reunited.
The heart of the matter
Barkley, 15-and-a-half years younger than Lampard, looked back on that phase of his career while speaking to Chelsea’s official website. Heaping praise on Lampard, he pronounced:
“He was a player I looked up to when I was growing up, and then I was lucky enough to play with him as well and take tips from him when we were with England together.
“Now it’s great to have him as manager. He will pass things that used to work for him in games on to us. To have him back is brilliant for the players because of the experiences he has had over his career, and it’s going to be really exciting for the fans as well.”
Interestingly, Barkley dons the iconic number 8 shirt that was previously worn by the gaffer himself. The midfielder accepted the prestige of the shirt, remarking:
“Of course he was a massive player to wear that number for Chelsea. I was number 8 at Everton too so when the club said it was available for me and I could take it, I thought why not? It was great to take that number and hopefully there are many seasons ahead that I can score loads of goals.”
At present, it’s safe to say that Barkley has tons to achieve to justify the tag on that shirt, but hopefully for Chelsea, he will announce his true self in the coming seasons under Lampard.
Meanwhile, the club will be preparing to take on Kawasaki Frontale tomorrow.
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