SPORT

Ross Barkley Signs New Everton Contract

29/07/2014 16:12 BST | Updated 29/07/2014 16:59 BST
Clive Brunskill via Getty Images
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MAY 03: Ross Barkley of Everton celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Manchester City at Goodison Park on May 3, 2014 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Ross Barkley has signed a new four-year, £65,000-a-week contract at Everton.

Barkley, one of the club's brightest performers in Roberto Martínez's debut campaign at Goodison Park, scored seven goals in his breakthrough season as the Blues finished fifth.

"It means everything for me, it's my dream to play for Everton," Barkley said. "This is the club I love and I see it as home."

"It didn't take any persuading. As soon as I got told about it I wanted to sign."

The 20-year-old made his England debut last year and was included in Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad. The Wavertree-born forward featured in all three of England's matches and is tipped to break into Hodgson's starting line-up for the European Championship qualifiers.

Barkley made his debut under David Moyes and enjoyed a promising start to the 2011-12 season, however his progress stalled and he was loaned out to Leeds United and Sheffield Wednesday the following season.

Martínez's arrival has benefitted the Liverpudlian, enormously, though. He was shortlisted for the PFA Young Player of the Year for 2013-14 and his whipped strike against Manchester City was named the Everton goal of the season.

Barkley also hit memorable strikes at Norwich and Swansea, while his two goals in separate Premier League encounters with Newcastle United also underlined his prodigious talent.