CHELSEA MIDFIELDER ADMITS HE HAS MATURED AS A FOOTBALLER

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Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley is back in the England squad after a two-year absence and he admits he has matured as a footballer.

Barkley has not featured for England during Gareth Southgate’s reign as England boss, having not played for England since the friendly against Australia prior to Euro 2016.

Barkley made just two Premier League appearances for Chelsea last season following his January transfer from Everton but the arrival of Italian coach Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge has seen him make an impressive start to this season.

“I’m over the moon to be back, I feel like it’s been a long time coming but I feel like I have worked hard over the last couple of years and that it’s fully deserved that I am back here,” Barkley said.

“I feel like I have matured as a person and understood what football is, and taken little details on as I have done now under the manager (Sarri).

“Things are going really well for me now and I’m fully focused on improving and kicking on.”

Barkley also admitted it was frustrating missing out on England’s successful World Cup campaign in Russia.

“It was frustrating for me because England means the world to me, to play for your country, but these things happen in football and you have to react and work hard to get your rewards, which I am doing,” Barkley added.

“I was proud to see the lads do really well and see how proud the country was of the boys.

“After where I was at, I had had a difficult season through injuries and I had a few niggles but kept a positive mind. I had a strong pre-season and things are going well for me now.”

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