Barkley should be a good fit in the Chelsea lineup!
Barkley should be a good fit. I feel Conte really wants to play the 5-3-2/3-3-4 formation and Barkley fits into this team as one of the 3 Central Midfielders. The 3 have differing roles. You have a defensive screen, a player to play longer pass and offer options from deep and late, and then the CM that burst for with and without the ball. Barkley fits the mold of the 3rd player described in the 3 man midfield. Bakayoko has been tasked with the third role and hasn’t been good enough for the formation to succeed.
Barkley will add unpredictability to our attack. He will burst forward to find space to be played in to either go to goal himself or to get in a good position between the lines and play through balls. He does dwell on the ball, sometimes to the team’s advantage and at times to the team’s detriment. Having a player that holds onto the ball will make it easier for the wing backs to get forward which in turn should create more space for the front two. Having a creative player express himself comes with him losing the ball on occasion until they become a very polished player. Be ready to take the good with the bad.
With that said, a part of Barkley’s game I like most is that he is always wanting to go forward with the ball at his feet or passing forward. He dwells on the ball because he takes on the responsibility of linking defense and attack. Too often it seems our players find a simple pass and aren’t taking enough risk. This is a delicate balance to prevent losing possession, but we will see an increase in forward passes with Barkley in the team. He also does a good job of finding space for himself, angles for his teammates, and is always looking for the ball.
In addition, he is two footed with a good range of passing, nice range on his shot, and pretty good finisher. He is willing to get in the box. He will put in a tackle and fight for the team but is rash in tackles and a liability to get sent off in heated and important matches.
Overall, I would say he is similar to Joe Cole. Probably less flair but a higher work rate. Like Joe Cole I think he will have ups and downs during games and during the season. Potential to be a brilliant player at times and incredibly frustrating at times. Bringing him in January is a good move to have him more prepared next season to be a more consistent player.