European Qualifiers: Roy Hodgson says Everton and England's Ross Barkley reminds him of Paul Gascoigne
Last Updated: 07/11/14 11:14am
Roy Hodgson believes Ross Barkley has the type of pace and power which reminds him of England great Paul Gascoigne.
Everton midfielder Barkley has missed the past four internationals but has been named in the national squad for the upcoming games against Slovenia and Scotland.
The 20-year-old was part of England’s World Cup squad in the summer after an excellent season with the Toffees but Hodgson left him out of the first two games and criticised the player for giving the ball away too much.
But Hodgson must have been impressed with Barkley's play since because he sees flashes of Gascoigne in the young Liverpudlian.
"He's got great potential as an impact player," the England manager said.
"He's a magnificent runner with the ball. In terms of being able to run with the ball with pace and power, you could compare him to Paul Gascoigne.
"Gascoigne was a powerful player, powerful runner with the ball, once he set off and went by people they didn't catch him. Ross Barkley is the same.
"He's a player with excellent technique and can score goals, he interprets the role behind the front player very well."
Being likened to one of the most entertaining and gifted midfielders of all time is likely to give Barkley a lift.
But it could also backfire, Hodgson admits.
Gascoigne was a powerful player, powerful runner with the ball, once he set off and went by people they didn't catch him. Ross Barkley is the same.
"That was dangerous because now you will make all sorts of comparisons," the England manager said with a smile.
"I might be regretful that I ever mentioned Gascoigne's name, but I will put my cards on the table.
"If you are an England player it means you are going to be under a lot more scrutiny."
Everton manager Roberto Martinez wants Hodgson to be careful with his star midfielder because he has missed the past 14 weeks with a knee injury.
It is unlikely that Barkley will play the entirety of next Saturday's qualifier against Slovenia, or the friendly in Scotland three days later.
"Obviously we lost him through a long period of time through injury," Hodgson said.
"We are pleased to have him back, he does give us that enormous possibility, and if he doesn't start the game he is a player coming off the bench who can make a difference."