ENGLAND vice-captain Frank Lampard admits he sees parallels between Everton youngster Ross Barkley, 20, and the teenage Wayne Rooney who terrorised Euro 2004.
Barkley, who could win his sixth cap in tonight’s final World Cup warm-up match against Honduras, shone this week against Ecuador and looks ready to announce himself on the international scene in Brazil. He and Rooney share not only a schooling on the blue side of Merseyside but also a barrel-chested running style and an eye for the spectacular goal.
“There are a lot of similarities in there: in their build, where they come from and where they play. You can’t deny that,” said Lampard. “It’s that fearlessness of youth. I see the similarities: great ability on the ball, running at people with the ball. That’s what you want to see.”
England manager Roy Hodgson sought to dampen the hype surrounding Barkley after he set up Rickie Lambert for England second goal in the midweek 2-2 draw, but Lampard thinks the midfielder is improving quickly.
“I think he’s got the bit between his teeth,” the 35-year-old added. “He’s very good at receiving the ball and turning quickly. He’s only going to get better.”