Frank Lampard is hoping that Ross Barkley can use the expected abuse from Everton supporters to help light a flame under him on Sunday afternoon.
The 26-year-old is set to start for Chelsea in the Premier League at Stamford Bridge against his former side this weekend.
Having come through the Toffees’ academy, it was a messy divorce when he left Merseyside to make west London his new home in January 2018.
The midfielder was set to join the Blues the previous summer, however backed out of the move at the last minute in a dramatic deadline day turnaround.
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However, Barkley did not feature again for Everton before eventually leaving Goodison Park just a few months later.
The England international has featured twice against his former side, however is yet to win against them, and has come in for some harsh words from the Everton supporters.
With Chelsea’s injury problems to Mateo Kovacic and N’Golo Kante, and with Jorginho suspended, it’s expected that Barkley will start for the Blues.
And having scored against Liverpool in the FA Cup on Tuesday, Lampard is hoping any abuse he does receive he can turn into a positive performance for his side.
“I like to think so [it will light a fire],” Lampard said. “What I do find with Ross, personality wise, is he is a really good-natured man, a good lad who really wants to do well at his job. Very close to his family, who obviously have roots up at Everton and where he is from.
“I don’t think he will have a crazy reaction or revel in it, he is that type. He is a determined lad who will want to do well against his old team. And who he respects as a club. I am pretty confident he will handle it in the right well.
“I think he will handle it very well. He has been away from Everton for a couple of years…