Everton midfielder Ross Barkley
Barkley is being tipped to shine at the World CupReuters

England midfielder Frank Lampard feels there are plenty of similarities between Everton prodigy Ross Barkley and a young Wayne Rooney, who had managed to impress at the 2004 European Championship.

An 18-year-old Rooney took Euro 2004 by storm, scoring four goals and earning a place in UEFA's team of the tournament. The Everton product's performances in Portugal also lifted his club career as he was soon snapped up by Manchester United in a £25.6 million deal.

In a similar fashion, Barkley, 20, also managed to impress on his first full senior international debut against Ecuador on Wednesday. And Lampard, who was England's captain for that match, admits he finds several similarities between Barkley and the young Rooney.

"There's a lot of similarities in there, in their build, where they come from and where they play," the Three Lions veteran pointed out. "You can't deny that. Again, it's that fearlessness of youth. I see the similarities. Great ability on the ball, running at people with the ball and that's what you want to see. I think he's got the bit between his teeth. He's more No10 than I ever was but he's very good at receiving the ball and turning quickly.

"He's only going to get better. That's his first start so considering that when you look at him and what he's done, he's made the second goal and shown enough there that we can say that he deserves his place in the squad and he's a great addition."

Lampard, who has confirmed that he would leave Chelsea this summer, also stated that Barkley is feeling very confident, going into the World Cup. The 35-year-old also hailed Barkley's fellow youngsters Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Raheem Sterling.

"We go to Brazil next week and hopefully he's going to be confident which is great. I don't think the manager would pick any player that he doesn't believe can start a game. That's a manager's choice.

"The good thing is that you've got a few of them lining up, putting in performances. Ox did it, Raheem Sterling has done it with his performances for Liverpool and glimpses of Barkley. That's a great problem for the manager."

However, England manager Roy Hodgson was slightly critical of Barkley's performance on Wednesday and urged the media and fans not to get carried away.

"He lost the ball an awful lot of times as well. If he's going to be the player we want him to be, he has to make better decisions of when he turns with the ball. That's not a criticism, but there were other performances out there today who merited your 'obsession' more than Ross Barkley's," Hodgson stressed.

Quick Links