Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri expects Ross Barkley to become “very important for the England national team” after the midfielder scored and provided an assist in the Blues’ win at Southampton.
Barkley set up Eden Hazard’s opening goal before adding his side’s second in the 3-0 victory at Southampton on Sunday that briefly moved Chelsea to the top of the Premier League table ahead of the meeting between Liverpool and Manchester City.
In doing so, Barkley became the first Englishman to score and assist in a Premier League game for Chelsea since Frank Lampard in December 2013.
“Today he played really well,” Sarri said of Barkley. “I am really happy with him because from the beginning he has improved, day by day, week by week, match by match.
“Potentially, he is a great player because he has quality, very important qualities from the physical point of view, from the technical point of view, now he’s improving from the tactical point of view.
“I think he will become very important in England and for the England national team.”
Alvaro Morata scored Chelsea’s third deep into injury time, chipping over oncoming home goalkeeper Alex McCarthy, after a slick passing move.
Defeat for Mark Hughes’ side means they remain in 16th, and their run without a win against the Premier League’s ‘big six’ is extended to 26 games.
Meanwhile, the Blues have now won nine of their 11 games across all competitions this season, with league draws against West Ham and Liverpool the only blights on their record.