Former Leeds United captain Ian Snodin claimed the club had landed an “exceptional talent” after signing England Under-21 international Ross Barkley on a month’s loan from Everton.
Barkley has joined Leeds on an initial deal until February 12 and Snodin, the ex-United and Everton midfielder, said manager Neil Warnock was in possession of the leading light among Everton’s teenage prospects.
Nineteen-year-old Barkley, who completed a loan at Sheffield Wednesday earlier this season and played against Leeds during the infamous derby between the clubs on October 19, has represented England at every youth-team level and Snodin tipped him to win a full cap before the age of 21.
The midfielder went straight into United’s squad for today’s clash at Barnsley and his arrival took United’s January deals to four following the signing of Ryan Hall and Michael Tonge and the extension of Alan Tate’s loan from Swansea City.
Snodin, who works in sports management and retains close ties to Goodison Park, told the YEP: “This lad is an exceptional talent.
“He’s as good a prospect as Everton have got, without a shadow of a doubt.
“I’ve know him since he was 15 and I was at Everton’s training ground yesterday morning so I got a chance to speak to him before he went to Leeds. I told him he was joining a fabulous club and I told him to make the most of it.
“In all honestly, I’m a bit surprised that he’s not played more for Everton this season but when you’ve got (Leon) Osman and (Marouane) Fellaini in front of you, there’s not a lot you can do.
“He’ll be a big hit at Leeds and he’s so good that I expect him to play for England before he’s 21. I can’t say much more than that.”
Warnock said: “He had four other clubs after him so I’m delighted he’s come to us.”