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Time has come for Chelsea star to challenge teammates for set-piece duties

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Ross Barkley

Ross Barkley is obviously one of the most redeemed player at Stamford Bridge since Maurizio Sarri joined the team from Napoli at the start of the season.

At first, the England international couldn’t break into the Italian first XI but as the season progresses, Barkley finds his way into the team.

In his first season as Chelsea player, Barkley could only feature in just four games, no thanks to a terrific hamstring injury he suffered towards the end of the season.

However, this season has been a great one for him and he will be looking to consolidate on his impressive start to the season when the Blues travel to the Wembley stadium to Tottenham on Saturday.

He opened his Chelsea’s account against Southampton some weeks back, before doubling his tally against Manchester United despite playing less than 20 minutes.

The England international made it three goals in three matches against Burnley a week before the recently concluded international break.

The 24-year-old’s rejuvenation isn’t limited to the Premier League club, he has dramatically warmed his way back to the Three Lions squad as he was recalled by Gareth Southgate in October.

Having cemented his place in Sarri’s team, it won’t be too early for Barkley to compete with his teammates for set-piece duties.

During Conte’s reign at Stamford Bridge, Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso was charged with the responsibility of taking free-kicks.

The Spaniard has very good techniques in whipping wonderful crosses into opponents 18-yard box for his teammates to connect with.

In term of direct kicks, the former Barcelona youngster is equally wonderful in hitting his target.

He’s being able to score some important goals directly from free kicks but he still needs to add a bit of accuracy.

Just as Alonso, Brazilian winger Willian was another set-piece taker under Antonio Conte and he’s still in position to take the club’s free kicks despite a change in manager.

The Brazilian is a great player when it comes to dead ball situations as he has scored some important goals for the team.

David Luiz is another player who has huge success record from free-kicks. The experience centre-back is a good curler of the ball but he sometimes made some irrational decisions such as aiming at goal when it is obvious that crossing is the best option.

However, it’s high time for Ross Barkley to lay claim for Chelsea free kick duties.

During his time at the Goodison Park, the 24-year-old scored three goals from free kicks despite the presence of Leighton Baines whose quality from set-pieces could only be rivalled by a handful of players.

Some Chelsea players — in an interview with the club’s official page — revealed that the England international is quite good in taking free kicks.

Marcos Alonso, Kepa Arrizabalaga, Pedro, Willy Caballero and Davide
Zappacosta all pointed to Barkley as the best free-kick taker on the training ground.

As much as it might sound too early for a player whose position in the team isn’t totally secured, Barkley should be seen constantly in the position to take set-pieces because he’s gotten bags of potential to deliver great balls to his teammates

I am a student of journalism, a part-time blog admin, football writer and analyst