After what must have been a terribly frustrating injury for the England international, Ross Barkley returned to Premier League action ahead of schedule on Saturday. In what was predicted, by many, to be the season where the England international made his name as a world star, Barkley was injured on the eve of the new campaign.
His presence as a starter on Saturday was slightly ahead of schedule but it coincided with the return of the more ruthless Everton that we saw so often last season.
The Toffees have played well this term without necessarily having the points to prove it. But any team will miss their talisman and Ross Barkley is now, surely, that man.
After a long lay off most footballers will be off the pace for a while. Barkley can still improve but his return to the side was almost seamless. He looked like the most dangerous player on the pitch from the off and had a hand in everything good that Everton did in their commanding 3-0 win against a hitherto impressive Aston Villa side.
And Everton coach Roberto Martinez was glowing in his praise of the youngster who he said was ‘born to play football.’
For the neutral observer it’s also a joy to see the young Everton star back in action. The sky really is the limit for Ross Barkley and, after a brilliant performance on Saturday, we fully expect him to be one of the standout players of this Premier League season.