It’s still of course only pre-season, but Ross Barkley is really standing out and seems to be loving life following the arrival of new head coach Frank Lampard.
The Blues signed Barkley for £15million (BBC) back in January 2018 and since then he’s been decent in patches.
There has always been the potential for him to turn into a masterstroke signing at that price and Lampard may now be the right man to unlock that.
The 25-year-old should now be entering the peak years of his career and he needs to cement his spot in the start XI at Stamford Bridge.
He’s done everything right so far in pre-season and his name looks a strong possibility to be in the starting team against Manchester United on the first day of the Premier League season.
Lampard has tested a few formations to date with Chelsea, but the 4-2-3-1 looks a favourable one and was once again on show in the win against Barcelona on Tuesday.
Promising talent Mason Mount impressed in the first-half in the number 10 role, but Barkley took it to another level when he replaced him in the second period.
Barkley looks the frontrunner for the playmaker role behind the striker and it’s looking the most effective way to get the best out of him.
He’s shown his creativity with some brilliant through balls already in pre-season fixtures and has the licence to attack freely, while he scored from outside the box with his weaker foot against Barcelona.
Lampard appear to have taken the shackles off Barkley by putting him in a more advanced role and it seems to be working.
He will of course need to replicate his current form when the competitive football starts, but there is a lot of excitement around what he can achieve in the new season and he’s also looked brilliant in an England shirt recently too.