Noel Whelan has urged Everton to re-sign Ross Barkley from Chelsea when the transfer window opens in January.
The midfielder moved from Merseyside to West London in January 2018, in a deal worth a relatively low fee of £14.2million, but has struggled to establish himself in the Chelsea team since then.
Having come through the Toffees’ academy, Barkley was tipped for great things, but a succession of managers failed to tap into his potential at Stamford Bridge, and the attacking midfielder has mustered just 11 goals and 11 assists in 94 appearances for the Blues.
A loan spell at Aston Villa last season failed to re-ignite his fire and the 27-year-old has featured just eight times, and has started just one Premier League game, under Thomas Tuchel this campaign.
With stiff competition from the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek keeping him out of the Chelsea starting XI, Barkley – who is valued at £15.3million by transfermarkt – may have to look elsewhere if he is to recapture his former glory.
And pundit Whelan thinks a return to boyhood club Everton would make sense for both parties.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Leeds United, Coventry City and Middlesbrough striker said: “I think that would be a good signing and I can see it happening.
“We’re seeing a different Ross Barkley right now to the one we saw at Aston Villa last season – he’s got his mojo back.
“He’s got that hunger; he wants to impress when he comes off the bench at Chelsea – he’s pressing and hustling the opposition really well.
“He’s also capable of getting into that final third and causing teams problems in there, as well.