Everton boss Roberto Martinez wants Ross Barkley to have long summer rest

Everton's Ross Barkley celebrates scoring his sides third goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at Goodison Park, Liverpool
Image: Ross Barkley: Roberto Martinez wants summer break for midfielder

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has said Ross Barkley should have a "proper break" in the summer - which would mean the midfielder not going to the U21 European Championship with England.

Barkley has been selected by Roy Hodgson in the senior squad for Friday's European Qualifier against Lithuania at Wembley and a friendly with Italy in Turin on Tuesday, but speculation persists about him rejoining Gareth Southgate's squad for the June's under-21 tournament in the Czech Republic.

Martinez has regularly insisted that Barkley has now outgrown the U21 set-up, mainly because he has already played at a World Cup, and believes he would benefit from a longer rest at the end of the season.

Martinez was delighted with Barkley's performance last week in the Europa League defeat at Dynamo Kiev, and does not want his return to form unduly affected by too much football.

"What Ross brings is the bigger the occasion, the bigger the performance and bigger the response," said Martinez.

What Ross brings is the bigger the occasion, the bigger the performance and bigger the response
Roberto Martinez

"What was pleasing last Thursday night was to see the 'old' Ross getting away from people, being so threatening with his forward pass and getting his shot away with either foot.

"He hit the post with his left foot and with his right foot. I loved seeing the signs of the 'old' Ross appearing."

Martinez added: "We need to look after him and make sure he has that sort of standard for the rest of the season and has a proper break in the summer.

"Do that and we will have a player completely new for next season after the experiences he has had this season."

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