- Premier League
Everton plan to send Barkley back out on loan
Everton manager David Moyes is ready to send Ross Barkley out on loan again in the New Year to continue his football education.
Barkley, 18, was recalled from his loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday this week to provide cover for Moyes' injury-hit squad.
Captain Phil Neville is likely to be out until January after undergoing knee surgery last Friday, while fellow midfielder Darron Gibson is only just working his way back to full fitness after more than two months out with a thigh injury.
With Marouane Fellaini serving a one-match ban, Barkley is likely to be involved in the squad for Saturday's Premier League home game against Norwich.
"Because of the injuries, we needed to get him back in and around the squad," Moyes said. "Ideally, I'd have liked to have left him there longer, to get more games. But if I don't get him the games I want, I'll probably look to send him back out on loan in the New Year.
"But we'll see how he does here. We need him to be in and around. It's really important that we keep his development going. From what I've seen, he has matured and come on a little bit with the games he's had at Sheffield Wednesday."
Barkley, who has made 11 appearances for Everton's first team, played 13 games in a little over two months at Championship side Wednesday, scoring four goals.
"I think the experience of playing games has helped him," Moyes said. "With young players, the games make a big, big difference."
Meanwhile, Moyes has indicated that Gibson will play some part against Norwich this weekend. The 25-year-old, who suffered a thigh injury early in the 2-0 defeat at West Brom on September 1, made his comeback as an overage player for Everton's Under-21s against Reading last Sunday.
"Darron's coming on," Moyes said. "He's doing OK. He had a bit of a reserve game last week, so he's making some progress. It's important we get him back, but we need everybody back. We've had a few injuries, and we need them back. But it's the same for every club.
"You want to get your injured players back, but you want to get them back at the right time and when you think they're ready."
Moyes added that striker Kevin Mirallas is on course to make his return from the hamstring injury suffered during the 2-1 win over Sunderland on November 10. He said: "Kevin's doing OK as well. He's making some improvement. Time helps improve it, so we're hoping he'll be OK."