Everton midfielder Barkley did not get a minute on the pitch in either of the games with Germany and Lithuania over the past week after being recalled by new boss Southgate — and has appeared to use social media to try to make light of being overlooked.
The 23-year-old was exiled from the squad after last summer’s Euros and suffered a drop in form, but Southgate revealed he has moved to reassure Barkley after not using him this time.
Southgate said: “I had a good chat with Ross to explain why we hadn’t put him into the Germany game the other day, and the way it played out (against Lithuania) we couldn’t get him on the pitch.
“He’ll be a bit frustrated not to get on.
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Gareth Southgate speaks after England beat Lithuania 2-0
“Firstly, he’s earned his recall to the squad because he’s been playing well with Everton. But we like him, he’s a talented player and he’s just got to keep playing well.
“It’s the first time I’ve had the chance to work with him since the Under-21s, so it was good for him to get a feel for how we work and he’s just got to keep doing well with Everton.”