Ross Barkley backed by Maurizio Sarri to star for Chelsea and England

Barkley in England squad for Sky Live Nations League games against Croatia and Spain

Ross Barkley celebrates after extending Chelsea's lead
Image: Ross Barkley scored and registered an assist in the 3-0 win over Southampton

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has backed Ross Barkley to become a key player for club and country after he scored his first goal for the Blues in the 3-0 win at Southampton.

Barkley starred in Sunday's victory at St Mary's, setting up Eden Hazard for the opening goal before scoring himself in the second half to become the first Englishman to score and register an assist in the same game for the Blues since Frank Lampard in 2013.

Live UEFA Nations League

The 24-year-old's impressive form for Chelsea has seen him secure a place in the England squad for the upcoming Nations League double-header against Croatia and Spain, live on Sky Sports.

Sarri has been impressed with how Barkley has battled back from persistent hamstring injuries that ruled him out of contention shortly after his arrival at Stamford Bridge in January and predicts a bright future for him.

"I am really happy with him. He has improved week by week, day by day and match by match," said Sarri.

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Highlights from Chelsea's win against Southampton in the Premier League.

"He had a very serious injury in the last two seasons, he is improving day by day and I think the best will come.

"I said from the first day that he has great physical and technical quality. But you have to improve from the tactical point of view and now he has improved I think.

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"Potentially, he is a great player. He has quality - very important quality from the physical point of view. From the technical point of view, he is improving tactically.

Live UEFA Nations League

"He will become a very important player, and for the England national team."

Watch Chelsea v Manchester United on Sunday October 20 when the Premier League returns after the international break. Coverage begins on Sky Sports Premier League at 11:30am and Sky Sports Main Event at midday.

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