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'Told he's more of an eight' - Ross Barkley's new manager has no idea which position he actually plays in

Tom Fenton

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'Told he's more of an eight' - Ross Barkley's new manager has no idea which position he actually plays in

Ross Barkley hasn't gotten off to the best of starts in Nice, as new manager Lucien Favre doesn't appear to know which position he plays. Awkward.

The 28-year-old joined Nice on a free last month following the mutual termination of his Chelsea contract.

After initially attracting strong interest from Southampton, Barkley eventually opted for the French Riviera to link up with former Borussia Dortmund boss Favre.

However, it's unclear just how much involvement the manager had in bringing the midfielder over from London, as in a recent press conference, he didn't seem to know an awful lot about his new acquisition.

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At one point, a French journalist from RMC stood up to ask the Nice manager: "In your mind, is he [Barkley] more of a six [or] more of an eight…?"

Looking slightly lost for words, Favre then responded: "I'm told he's more of an eight."

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His answer is especially revealing given that Barkley is a fully-fledged England international, having been capped 33 times since 2013.

In Favre's defence, working out where Barkley is best used in a team has been the subject of much debate down the years.

The former Everton man has tended to drift between between playing as a number 10 and number eight in his career, although a deeper role at Chelsea was also tested.

Ross Barkley in Chelsea action. (Alamy)
Ross Barkley in Chelsea action. (Alamy)
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He arguably played some of his best football during a loan spell at Aston Villa in the 2020/21 season, where he was once again deployed as a more advanced number 10 for the most part.

Barkley has also been joined in Nice by former Arsenal and Juventus star Aaron Ramsey, with Kasper Schmeichel and Joe Bryan also arriving from Premier League clubs this summer.

While it was a busy transfer window for the Ligue 1 side, reports coming out of France suggest that Favre hasn't been especially involved in recruitment strategy, with key decisions instead being made at board level.

With that being said, it's now all down to Favre to get the most out of these big-name arrivals.

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British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe is the Current Nice owner. Image: PA Images
British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe is the Current Nice owner. Image: PA Images

Barkley could be the biggest challenge in terms of getting the attacking midfielder up to speed, as he played just six times in the Premier League for Chelsea last season.

Nevertheless, with the number 11 shirt on his back, perhaps this can be just the move he needs to reignite a career that once looked so promising. Just as soon as Favre knows where to play him, that is...

Can Barkley revive his career in France? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Ross Barkley, Chelsea, Nice, Ligue 1, England, Everton

Tom Fenton

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