Gareth Southgate: Ross Barkley's creativity is key for England
Barkley has been impressive in recent weeks and Gareth Southgate makes no bones about the fact that the one thing that has earned him his first international call-up since Euro 2016.
He is even set to feature against World champions Germany in Dortmund tonight – but the main attraction for Southgate is the quality he possesses to break down more defence-minded teams like the one he expects to encounter at Wembley when the more serious business of the World Cup qualifiers starts.
Gareth Southgate talks to the media ahead of England's clash with Germany
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“He is a player who really affects the game around the penalty box,” Southgate said. “He has great creativity but also power around the penalty area.
“That is important, especially if you are playing against teams who are banking up or packed defences. You need players who can maybe beat someone one to one and he has the strength, the power and the guile to do that.
“But also the other day against West Brom a couple of lovely floated passes and chips over defence. He's quite an instinctive player and also exciting.
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Ross Barkley has been in impressive form for Everton recently
“He’s playing a slightly different position for Everton in the last few weeks. He's playing on the right but drifting into the No 10 slot which is where he does his best work.
“I think physically he looks in slightly better condition and Ronald Koeman has talked quite publicly about the things he has asked him to do.
“I just think he is in a better moment as an individual player and playing with confidence.”