ROSS BARKLEY will go straight into David Moyes’s first-team plans after returning from his loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday.
Barkley has proven a huge success during a two-month stay at the npower Championship side, netting four goals in 13 appearances and earning praise from Owls manager Dave Jones.
The 18-year-old made an instant impact on his senior Everton debut at the beginning of last season but has played only 18 minutes of Premier League football during the past 12 months.
With Phil Neville sidelined until the New Year and Darron Gibson only now stepping up his recovery after almost three months out, Everton are short of central midfield options.
And Moyes is confident Barkley will have benefited from his experience at Wednesday and hopes it can kickstart his top-flight career in the same manner as Leon Osman’s was by a stint at Derby County in 2004.
“We were happy for Ross to go out there (to Sheffield Wednesday) and play the games on loan,” said the Goodison manager. “I think it’s been good for him.
“He’s been playing in big games. We’ve had him watched in all the games, and I’ve watched him personally play in two games live against Leeds United and Blackburn.
“For the first three or four games it took him a little bit of time to settle, but he has then made a bigger impression.
“Ross has done great. He is a young boy, 18, and those games in the Championship will bode well for us and for him.
“It’s not unlike when we put Leon Osman out on loan. I wouldn’t say it’s an exact similarity, but we put Ross out to try and get him ready for Premier League action.”