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Steven Gerrard: Leaving Everton 'would be best' for Ross Barkley

Ross Barkley has scored three goals and set up two more in the Premier League this season.

Everton midfielder Ross Barkley would "fly" at Tottenham Hotspur or Chelsea, according to his former England teammate Steven Gerrard.

Barkley, 23, was seen as Gerrard's natural heir for the national team but he is yet to meet expectations at Goodison Park, and he has been linked with both London clubs after criticism from Toffees boss Ronald Koeman.

Gerrard has encouraged his fellow Liverpudlian to consider a move and says Everton would regret letting him leave.

The former Liverpool captain told BT Sport: "If he was to go to a Tottenham or a Chelsea he would fly and all the Everton fans would say why did we sell him?

"I think from a selfish point of view maybe for him a move would be the best thing for him."

Gerrard admits the playmaker, who did not play a minute in England's dismal Euro 2016 campaign, has been inconsistent.

While former Everton boss Roberto Martinez put an arm around Barkley, Koeman has been scathing of him more than once, and Gerrard believes criticism from the terraces and the dugout is affecting his form.

"I'm a big fan of Ross, but what I will say is he has been inconsistent and the Everton fans use him as an easy target," Gerrard added.

"I think he's been harshly criticised by Ronald Koeman in the media and that won't be helping him.

"He's their bright spark for the future because he's young and people talk about building a team around him. He's 23 and still has 10 quality years ahead of him."

Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.

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