New Chelsea signing Ross Barkley has spoken out on why he did not join the Blues last summer, despite the side agreeing on a £35 million fee with Everton for the England international.
The 24-year-old left Everton on bitter terms earlier this month and will surely expect negative responses from fans of his former club when he returns to play against them at Goodison Park.
Barkley ended up moving to Stamford Bridge for a bargain fee of £15 million on January 5; some have accused him of pulling out of the original move last summer for his personal gain, which has effectively cost Everton £20 million. Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, even asked police to investigate what had transpired but no criminal activities were found to have occurred.
Now, Barkley, who remained silent on the matter throughout the first half of the season, has finally broken his silence on what exactly happened. Speaking to Sky Sports, he said he had suffered a “massive injury”, rupturing his hamstring just a couple of weeks after he had undergone surgery on a hernia.
Barkley: “I couldn’t even walk”
He said: “At the time I couldn’t even walk, I was in a brace for six weeks and couldn’t put any pressure through my legs so I didn’t feel it was right to make a move at the time. I wanted to weigh up all my options and really think about what I am going to do with the next stage of my career.”
While speaking about why he left Everton, the club that he supports, he added that the opportunity to play football for the current Premier League champions was too good to turn down.
“Everton means the world to me. I am a boyhood fan, I am a local lad and have supported Everton all my life, it was a very hard decision but I felt it was right to make the jump to Chelsea. I am grateful for what the club did for me over the years and it was hard to leave. The fans were great with me.”