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Premier League: 5 players who play better for England than their club

Ben Roberts
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
2.23K   //    05 Apr 2019, 14:44 IST

Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard

Sometimes there's no clear answer as to why a player performs better for his country than he does for his club. It could be that the national team offers a more comfortable environment as the player is surrounded by teammates on the same wavelength, and who can speak the same language.

The language factor is often a subtle difference in these types of comparisons, but if you think about the top Premier League teams who sign world class players from all over the world then, of course, there isn't going to be the same amount of chemistry there.

Moreover, players can share their esoteric banter with teammates safe in the knowledge that it won't be misinterpreted. The English style is often heavily sarcastic and witty, which players from other countries might take offence to. But because it is often the banter behind the scenes that gels players together, it is imperative for the purpose of chemistry-building to have it around.

Of course, this is just one of many factors behind the stark contrast in performances between club and country but is perhaps the most simple one to explain.


#5 Ross Barkley

Montenegro v England - UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier
Montenegro v England - UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier

Ross Barkley is a 25-year-old attacking midfielder who plays for Chelsea in the Premier League. He joined them from Everton back in January 2018 for around £15m.

It's only been recently under Sarri's reign that Barkley has started to feature heavily in the first team; before the arrival of the ex-Napoli manager, Barkley was a fringe player who spent more time warming the bench than he did playing out on the pitch, with many people criticising him for ditching his first-team spot at Everton to be used sparingly at Chelsea.

However, he has pulled through this season, featuring in a total of 24 matches for the Blues, though only half of those saw him actually start the game. He has scored three goals and registered four assists, which isn't bad for some, but a player of his calibre should definitely be doing a lot better than that.

His stats for Chelsea look even worse when you watch him play for England. Barkley is dynamic, skilful and a true menace to every opposing side, linking up with his teammates to constantly threaten the opposition in an attack.

What doesn't help is the fact that Sarri tends to play him in a more central midfield role, rather than the attacking midfielder position that both Southgate and Barkley prefer. Having to persistently flick back-and-forth between the two has likely knocked him off balance in terms of consistency, which is why he's great one game and dire the next.

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