It could have been so different for Ross Barkley and Tottenham Hotspur

Everton's Ross Barkley celebrates scoring at Goodison Park against Watford last season (pic: Peter B

Everton's Ross Barkley celebrates scoring at Goodison Park against Watford last season (pic: Peter Byrne/PA Images). - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

England international remains with Everton after problematic final couple of weeks in August

If things had turned out very differently this summer then Ross Barkley could have been making his Tottenham Hotspur debut away to old club Everton this weekend.

The England international was linked with a switch to Spurs during the most recent transfer window, but no move materialised in the end.

A hamstring injury for Barkley didn’t help matters, yet he was apparently close to joining Chelsea on deadline day (August 31).

Various media outlets reported the playmaker had a medical with the Premier League champions before changing his mind, but the Everton midfielder refuted those claims at the weekend.

Barkley said: “Contrary to a number of reports in the press, I did not undertake a medical with any club at any point.

“I simply decided that due to my injury, it would be best to make a decision on my future and assess all my opinions in January when fully fit. Thanks for all of the support.”

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You suspect had Barkley not suffered a serious hamstring issue, which is likely to keep him out until December, then Spurs would have looked to sign the 23-year-old last Thursday.

Mauricio Pochettino was after a creative midfielder and the Everton ace would have fitted the mould, but it may now be a transfer which takes place in January or even in the summer.

A lot of Tottenham fans are in two minds about Barkley potentially joining the north London club. Some view it as a strange switch with the Scouser failing to live up to expectation in Merseyside.

But there are others that feel Pochettino may be able to get the best out of a player with undoubted talent, yet just lacking the required consistently to fulfil his clear potential for club or country.

It remains to be seen whether the transfer will go through in the end, but it does appear obvious that Barkley wants to join Spurs and work with their Argentine boss.

After turning Danny Rose into one of the best full-backs in the world and helping develop the talent of Dele Alli and Harry Kane, you imagine Barkley could also flourish under Pochettino, but for now, he is an Everton player.