Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley has drawn comparison with former Blues star Michael Ballack. According to the report from TalkSPORT, Belgium national team manager Roberto Martinez described Barkley as a mixture of England football icon Paul Gascoigne and Michael Ballack having managed him during his time at Everton.

Michael Ballack was on the payroll at Chelsea just before he called time on his professional football career.

Ex-England national team manager Roy Hodgson also saw the glimpses of Gascoigne in Barkley whom he managed while he was in the Three Lions dugout. Barcelona legend Xavi Hernandez previously talked about the qualities that Barkley possess and that he’s good enough to play in the legendary Catalan giants’ team under Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique. 

England midfielder Barkley spent last season on loan at Aston Villa from Chelsea as he went in search of more playing time. He started his loan spell at Villa positively until things fell apart towards the winter part of last season. While he was away on loan at Villa, Chelsea won the Champions League title under Thomas Tuchel who replaced Frank Lampard at the start of 2021.

Villa didn’t consider the option of extending the loan spell of Barkley or signing him permanently at the end of his loan spell at the club in the summer. The Englishman had to return to Chelsea after his loan spell at Villa and he was involved in pre-season training this summer.

Chelsea manager Tuchel rarely called on Barkley at the start of the season but that has changed in recent weeks thanks in part to the injuries in the attacking positions. He has played seven times for the Blues this season.

Barkley made his seventh appearance of the season as a substitute against Swedish champions Malmo FF earlier this week as Chelsea made it three wins in four Champions League games this season thanks to the 1-0 away win courtesy the second half strike from Hakim Ziyech.