Frank Lampard believes Ross Barkley will be able to use his £15 million move from Everton to Chelsea to make him a better player with the World Cup coming up this summer.
Barkley has 22 caps for England but he hasn’t been called up for his country since April 2016. He missed out on Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2016 squad, despite making the 2014 World Cup panel, with Lampard as a team-mate.
And the Blues legend, who watched on as a BT Sport pundit as his former club were held scoreless by Norwich in the FA Cup at the weekend, says that Barkley can use his switch to Stamford Bridge to help establish himself as a regular in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
“I think it is a good signing – it is a no-brainer for Chelsea at £15m for a boy of his talent,” Lampard told Goal. “He’s only 24 years old but now it is up to Ross to prove his talents. I think he will do that at Chelsea, so it is a good move.
“He just needs to learn and listen to people around the place. The standards at Chelsea will be higher than what he’s used to. No disrespect to Everton but he came through there. There are consistency levels at Chelsea in what’s demanded of you generally in your game and that’s good.
“He’s at the stage of his career where he certainly needed that and I think Chelsea will be a great home for him on that front. He needs to try and get into the Chelsea team, which will be tough for him – that’s the first challenge.
“If he plays consistently then I think he’s a key England player in the making. He’s already an England player and he’s got that ability to create something out of nothing so let’s get him playing regularly to show what he can do for England and Chelsea.”
Barkley had his first training sessions at Chelsea this week but he has been working on his own after a seven-month lay-off due to a hamstring injury.
His new club were held to an FA Cup third-round draw against Norwich on Saturday, meaning they face a replay, taking their total of January games up to eight over the course of four weeks.
Lampard believes Chelsea and England’s other top teams will take their cup competitions more seriously with Manchester City dominating the Premier League. Indeed, he thinks advancing in the third round and beating Arsenal in the Carabao Cup could take a slight priority over the forthcoming league matches for Chelsea.
“It is very important [to get past Norwich in a few weeks],” Lampard said. “We’ve always taken this competition seriously, we’ve won it a lot of times and obviously lost the final last year.
“The Premier League is looking tough so the cups are Chelsea’s chances for silverware but you’ve got to keep playing well in the Premier League, that remains important.”