Former Everton forward Tony Cottee thinks it is time for Ross Barkley to leave Goodison Park this summer in order to 'kick on with his career'. Barkley has been attracting interest from Tottenham and is currently mulling over a £100,000-a-week contract offer from Everton, who are keen to know of his intentions sooner rather than later.
Cottee, who scored 99 goals for the Toffees between 1988 and 1994, thinks it may be time for Barkley to leave his boyhood club and says Everton fans point the finger at the Wavertree-born midfielder when things start to go awry at Goodison Park.
"He has had a strange season – good and bad – and he is at that stage where he has got to kick on with his career and maybe he needs to leave Everton," Cottee told talkSPORT."He is under a lot of pressure there, he is a local boy, and if anything ever goes wrong in a game the fans seem to blame Ross.
"I think he is at the stage where he is thinking, 'do I need to move?' I have had a similar situation. I am a West Ham boy and played for West Ham and you get frustrated, look at your career and you don't want to leave because it is your club but you know you have to leave from a professional point of view."
Tottenham have held an interest in Everton playmaker Barkley for quite some time. But with the likes of Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen already plying their trade at Tottenham, the 23-year-old would have a tough task trying to nail down a regular starting spot under Mauricio Pochettino, who has developed a reputation for bringing the best out of English players.
A move to Tottenham could come to fruition this summer, but Barkley's immediate focus is on Everton's final game of the season against the other Premier League team in north London, Arsenal, who are hoping to sneak into the Champions League places with a win over Ronald Koeman's side on Sunday (21 May).