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Joe Cole sends message to 26-year-old Chelsea star

Former midfielder Joe Cole has lavished praise on Ross Barkley and backed him to achieve similar success at Chelsea as Frank Lampard.

While former Everton man has endured an indifferent period at the West London club since January 2018, the England international starred as the Blues defeated the Merseyside teams, Everton and Liverpool, before football was suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Although the English playmaker continues to divide opinion at the Blues, Cole has tipped the former Everton man to continue to progress as a player and emulate Frank Lampard who is currently his manager that gives a chance to homegrown players.

Speaking to the Daily Star, Cole said: “Ross has improved. He is a top player. I’m a big fan of Ross Barkley. Always have been.

“He’s been a bit less spoken about because of Jack Grealish and James Maddison and Mason Mount, but he’s done a terrific job at Chelsea. The last two games, against Liverpool and Everton, he was brilliant. Absolutely fantastic.

“I’ve always thought he was a top player and I think he’ll be at Chelsea for many, many years. Now the challenge for Ross is can he keep doing that, can he be that player who drives Chelsea on to win trophies, like his manager was? I think he can.”

While he has failed to found back of the net in 13 Premier League games this campaign, Barkley has scored three times in the cup competitions.