Osman: Ross Barkley can stay grounded
Leon Osman believes that Everton team-mate Ross Barkley will have no trouble staying grounded amid the increasing likelihood of a World Cup place with England.
Barkley enhanced his growing reputation with an impressive solo goal in Tuesday night's 3-0 Premier League win at Newcastle.
The 20-year-old ran 70 yards before firing a shot high past goalkeeper Tim Krul for Everton’s opening goal.
But even though Barkley is attracting plenty of attention during his first season as a Premier League regular, Osman is sure it will not go to his head.
"It is our job to keep his feet on the ground," the 32-year-old told the Daily Mirror. "It was a good goal, he got a pat on the back. I don't think it is very difficult for him to keep his feet on the ground. We all do it and he does it himself.
"The character of the lad is that he doesn't really buy into the hype. He just keeps his head down and works very hard, so all credit to him because he is going in the right direction.
"There was nothing about the goal which surprised me and that is probably the biggest compliment."
Osman has warned of the dangers of expecting too much, too soon from Barkley, who made his England debut last September and has won three caps in total.
He added: "We are all delighted to see a young person coming through who is capable of that kind of thing, but we also need to give him a chance because he is still only very young.
"He has still got a good few things to learn, but he is unbelievable at times.
"At other times, he knows there are things he has to learn as well.
"We all just need to give him a chance, let him keep developing and not put too much pressure on him. But when you see him do things like that, it is hard not to get carried away."
Osman, himself an England international, sees no reason why Barkley cannot make an impression on the World Cup this year, though.
He said: "If he gets the call, I'm absolutely convinced he will do very well. If he has the belief behind him, who knows what could happen on the bigger stage?
"He is a level-headed young man and, although he is still learning, he has shown over the last few weeks what he is capable of producing."
Meanwhile, Everton winger Matthew Kennedy, 19, has joined League One side MK Dons on loan for the rest of the season.
Kennedy, signed from Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock in 2012, has yet to make a first-team appearance for the Toffees, but played eight games in League One while on loan at Tranmere Rovers earlier this season.