Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has claimed that Manchester United target Ross Barkley could take over from Steven Gerrard as the king of Merseyside after his performances this season.
Barkley has been a standout star for Everton since moving from the youth ranks into the senior line-up in 2010. He has long been connected with a move to United and Steven Gerrard recently advised the 20 year old to snub interest from big clubs and continue to ply his trade at a side that have nurtured his talents for so long.
With the January transfer window edging closer David Moyes is believed to be readying a big bid for both Barkley and Leighton Baines as he continues to raid his old club. But Carragher has sided with Gerrard over the youngster, claiming that he could become one of the best players Merseyside has ever seen just like the Reds captain.
"There has been the emergence of Ross Barkley," the former Liverpool defender told the Daily Mail. "Martinez hasn't been shy in making comparisons with Michael Ballack and Paul Gascoigne and he can become the player Evertonians hoped and dreamed Wayne Rooney would become for them.
"Barkley can become the boy wonder who scores winning goals in front of The Kop to settle derbies and inspire Everton to ending their trophy drought. He is a special talent and could be the one to take over Steven Gerrard's mantle on Merseyside.
Barkley's potential deal with United will likely depend on how hard he is willing to push for a move to Old Trafford when the winter window rolls around.
Moyes insisted this week that the club have money to spend during the notoriously overpriced period and the title holders will certainly be looking to sign some big talent after their failures in the summer window were exposed.