Antonio Conte backs Ross Barkley to earn England World Cup place
Last Updated: 07/01/18 11:11pm
Antonio Conte has revealed he wants to help new Chelsea signing Ross Barkley earn a place in England’s squad for the World Cup in Russia.
Barkley completed his move to Chelsea from Everton on Friday, for a fee that Sky sources understand to be £15m plus add-ons.
The 24-year-old has not played since May due to a hamstring injury but is nearing match fitness and Conte is hoping that the midfielder can make a rapid return to form in time for the summer tournament.
"We have five months to show he deserves a call with the national team for the World Cup," Conte said.
"I hope [he gets one], because it means he will do very well with us."
Barkley, who has signed a five-and-a-half-year deal at Chelsea, trained at the club's Cobham base on Saturday as he continues his recovery but Conte is reluctant to put a timescale on when he will be available for selection.
"It's important for me to see him, to understand his physical condition," Conte said.
"My hope is to have this player [available] very quickly."
The Chelsea boss praised Barkley's versatility but warned his new addition that he must adapt to the team's tactics.
Conte said: "He can play in midfield, if we play with three midfielders, or number 10 if we play 3-4-3,"
"Before playing we must be sure that he is into our idea of football. Otherwise, it's a problem for him and it's a problem for the rest of the team."
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