Phil Jagielka says Everton FC teammate Ross Barkley will need to learn to deal with being a marked man as his career goes on.
And the Blues skipper hopes to see his young colleague add to his senior England caps tally later this month.
Barkley cut a frustrated figure at times during Saturday’s goalless draw with Swansea City at Goodison Park.
The 20-year-old was halted by the Welsh outfit’s commitment to a packed defence, with the man-marking of Swans midfielder Ki-Sung Yeung meaning his influence on proceedings was limited.
Jagielka, though, believes these are the kind of problems that Barkley will face as his career takes off, but tipped the youngster to overcome such difficulties.
Everton vs Swansea at Goodison Park. Everton’s Ross Barkley takes on Swansea’s Sung-Yeung Ki. Photo by Colin Lane
He said: “That is what happens to the best players.
“They (opponents) watch the videos of him and they do target him to make sure if they keep him quiet in a game it can affect his team.
“He is going to have to deal with it and I can’t see it getting much easier for him as he goes on in his career – but he’s more than capable of dealing with it.
“Nothing gets him down. If you look at Saturday’s game, I wouldn’t say it was his best game but he kept on going, kept on going, kept on going.
“A lot of people in that situation can hide and not want the ball but I’d never expect Ross to be one of those players.”
Barkley has recently returned to action after more than two months on the sidelines with a knee injury. It has meant he has been unable to add to his tally of nine senior England appearances.
But with a Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia, as well as a friendly against Scotland up at Hampden Park, to come later this month, Barkley is likely to be back in Roy Hodgson’s thoughts in the next few days.
And Jagielka, for one, is glad of that.
He said: “It will be nice for Ross to get away and hopefully get some game time for England, get his confidence up and kick-start his season.
“We all know how much ability he has. It is nice for him to have some lessons or learning curves along the way so the manager is open to him playing at international level as most managers should do.”