MX23RW : Thursday, January 24 09:26:32

Antonio Conte hails Ross Barkley ahead of Chelsea arrival

Conte hails Barkley ahead of arrival
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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte brands Ross Barkley 'a very strong player with great technique' as the Blues near a deal for the Everton midfielder.

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte branded Ross Barkley 'a very strong player with great technique' when questioned on the England international during his pre-game press conference on Friday afternoon.

The Blues are currently preparing for Saturday's FA Cup third-round clash with Norwich City, but are busy behind the scenes as they prepare to announce the arrival of Barkley from Everton.

Indeed, it is understood that the 25-year-old has completed a medical with the Premier League champions, and the £15m deal is expected to be announced on Friday afternoon.

Conte has insisted that Chelsea will need to be patient as Barkley battles back from a long-term hamstring issue, but the Italian has tipped the midfielder to have a big impact.

"For sure we're talking about a young player, an English player. He can have good prospects for Chelsea. I think the club decided on this investment also for his contract," Conte told reporters.

"He had a bad injury and has not played for seven months. We have to hope to recover him very quickly and have him for the rest of the season.

"He is very strong physically with great technique. It is important to understand when he can recover from his injury. He has had a long injury with surgery, he's not played for seven months."

Barkley has scored 27 times in 179 appearances for Everton since making his debut in 2011.


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Ross Barkley arrives ahead of the Premier League game between Swansea City and Everton on May 6, 2017
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154134160
2Manchester CityMan City23182362174556
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs23170648232551
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132332-922
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2335152151-3014
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2325161340-2711

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