Everton hope for Barkley loan boost
Everton manager David Moyes hopes Ross Barkley can follow Leon Osman's example and prove himself at the top level after spending time on loan at a Football League club.
Barkley, 18, has returned to Goodison Park after a little over two months in the Championship with Sheffield Wednesday.
The midfielder was sent on loan in order to get regular first-team football, as fellow midfielder Osman was early in his career.
Barkley made nine appearances for Everton last season and has made one - against Leyton Orient in the Capital One Cup - so far this term.
But with captain Phil Neville set to be out for around two months after having a knee operation, he is likely to get opportunities to impress in midfield.
"We were happy for Ross to go out there and play the games on loan," Moyes told the Liverpool Echo. "I think it's been good for him.
"He's been playing in big games. We've had him watched in all the games, and I've watched him personally play in two games, against Leeds United and Blackburn.
"For the first three or four games it took him a little bit of time to settle, but he has then made a bigger impression.
"Ross has done great. He is a young boy, 18, and those games in the Championship will bode well for us and for him."
Osman played in League Two as he gained experience with Carlisle in autumn 2002, and then had a spell in the Championship with Derby in 2004.
The 31-year-old has long since become a regular at Goodison Park and made his England debut against Sweden in Stockholm last week.