Barkley to learn from Rodwell
Steve Round has advised Ross Barkley to take note of the progress Jack Rodwell has made by sticking with Everton.
Last Updated: 21/09/11 6:58pm
Everton assistant manager Steve Round has advised Ross Barkley to take note of the progress Jack Rodwell has made by sticking with the club.
Barkley, 17, has made a handful of eye-catching performances for the Toffees this season, sparking rumours of interest from Chelsea.
Such reports appear unfounded and Everton have repeatedly stated Barkley's intentions are to remain with the club who have nurtured his talent.
Rodwell was the last Everton prodigy to mentioned in the same breath as England's leading clubs, but the 20-year-old knuckled down at Goodison Park and has started three of their four Premier League games.
And Round suggests Barkley does the same, although he has seen no reason to believe the youngster's head has been turned by media attention.
"He's in the team, he's getting better every week and Ross has got to establish himself here first," Round told the Liverpool Echo.
"You've only got to look at some of the previous ones. Jack Rodwell was the cause of a lot of speculation but he's stuck it out and he's playing regular Premier League football now."
Round added of Barkley: "People could forget he's only 17 and just starting out on his footballing journey.
"He's potentially a very good player but potential by definition means he's only capable of it - he hasn't done it yet.
"In the future I expect him to come through and be a top player for Everton - not for anybody else.
"Ross is quite a level headed lad and he's got some very good mentors within the dressing room here who will always advise correctly on doing the right thing every day and being the right professional.
"That makes our job much easier, obviously, and it's testament to the likes of Tim Cahill, Phil Neville, or Phil Jagielka."
Meanwhile, Round played down speculation surrounding striker Louis Saha's future after the Frenchman was left out of Everton's squad to face West Brom in the Carling Cup on Wednesday.
Saha is thought to be in hot water with manager David Moyes after voicing his disapproval at being omitted from the win against Wigan on Saturday via his Twitter account, but Round insists the striker is merely unfit.
"He's not in the squad. He's not ready. He trained last week and he's trained this week so far," said Round, with Everton facing a trip to Everton this weekend.
"The manager is going to keep a close eye on his training and see how he improves and progresses over the next week or two. I'm sure he'll be available come Saturday."