Gareth Barry has backed Everton teammate Ross Barkley to force his way into the England squad for next summer’s World Cup finals.
Barkley has emerged as one of the rising stars of the English game with his energetic displays and fizzing free-kicks this season, with the experienced Barry believing he can also become a star at Brazil 2014.
“Ross should absolutely be nailed on to be on that plane for me,” Barry told reporters. “I’m sure the England manager knows enough about Ross to know that he could go out there and surprise a lot of teams, because he has that natural ability.
“Ross has just grown in confidence as the season has gone on. I think working with this manager is going to have that sort of impact on him. The more he learns about the game and his position, the more he’s going to improve. Confidence will come with that.
“He has got that natural ability and as he learns the game and his confidence grows and grows, he will turn into a better player.”
Barry went on to insist he is focused on regaining his own place in the England side as he continues to impress for Everton during his season-long loan move from Manchester City.
“I’m not too worried about that at the moment,” he added of his own World Cup ambitions. “I’m just looking forward to the second half of the season with Everton. I’ve not been involved with England for 18 months.”