A former Blue believes the England international is succesful of following in his manager’s footsteps at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea ‘s Ross Barkley has been described as a “top, top player” by Joe Cole, who thinks the midfielder can help force the club closer to silverware in the same way Frank Lampard did in his heyday.
After overcoming a gradual start to the 2019-20 campaign amid injury issues, Barkley has emerged as a key discern in the Blues’ starting line-up as they chase down a top-four finish in the Premier League.
The 26-year-old featured in seven of Chelsea’s last eight games before the season was called to a transient halt due to the coronavirus outbreak, with his most fantastic display coming in a 2-0
FA Cup fifth-round win over Liverpool on March 3.
Lampard has been rewarded for placing his trust in Barkley, who seems to have rediscovered his best form whilst operating in a three-man midfield alongside the likes of Billy Gilmour, Mateo Kovacic and Mason Mount.
Cole has expressed his faith that Barkley has all the attributes to emulate the current Chelsea manager’s achievements at Stamford Bridge, whilst tipping him to continue to be at the club for “many, many years”.
“Ross has improved. He is a top player. I’m a huge fan of Ross Barkley. Always have been,” the ex-Blues winger told the Daily Star.
“He’s been a bit much less spoken about because of Jack Grealish and James Maddison and Mason Mount. But he’s done a brilliant job at Chelsea.
“The last two games, against Liverpool and Everton , he was brilliant. Absolutely fantastic.
“I’ve always thought he was a top player and I suppose he’ll be at Chelsea for many, many years.
“Now the assignment for Ross is can he keep doing that, can he be that player who drives Chelsea on to win trophies, like his manager was? I suppose he can.”
Cole went on to discuss comparisons between himself and Barkley, opening up on how he developed underneath Jose Mourinho’s stewardship before backing the England international to hold his own upward trajectory in the coming seasons.
“I’m thrilled if people can see similarities between him and me due to the fact I’m a big fan. I think I just developed at Chelsea,” stated Cole.
“It wasn’t just Jose. He’s a fantastic manager. But I was playing with better players. More expectation. I grew into my physique a bit. And winning trophies breeds confidence.
“I like everything about Ross. Technically, he’s spot on. The intellectual aspect of the game, he’s getting better and better. Tactically he is enhancing all the time.
“I just think he’s a top, top player for Chelsea and England. As soccer evolves, players like him are getting extra and more valued. He’s a excellent player.”
Chelsea boast a three-point lead over their opponents in the race for the remaining Champions League after 29 fixtures, with Lampard taking in his first season as a Premier League manager.
A club legend has been able to maximise the output of the squad at his disposal without dipping into the transfer market, whilst bringing a wide variety of academy stars through to the first-team fold.
“I can understand people didn’t suppose he had lots experience at the start of the job however I was never in any doubt he’d be a top manager,” Cole stated of Lampard’s credentials.
“I think he’s a clever guy, Frank. There’s no doubt in my idea he will go on to be one of the best managers we’ve ever produced. He’s so driven.
“Chelsea need to be absolutely buzzing at what he’s done for the club. The club’s cohesive, it’s working well. Systems are in place. They’re performing well.
“He’s blooded some younger players and put some value on the bottom line of the club. I think he’s accomplished a excellent job.”