Everton manager Marco Silva has sought to defuse tensions between fans and Ross Barkley as the former Toffees midfielder travels to Goodison Park with his current club Chelsea.
The England internationl left Merseyside in January 2018 to join Antonio Conte’s side in a £25million deal. He had originally planned to move to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2017 only for the playmaker to have second thoughts before the switch could be completed.
Some Everton supporters claimed he had not done enough to ensure that the club would get a good price from his sale and he has become something of a pantomime villain since his exit.
After an uncertain start to life at Chelsea, he has made progress this season under Maurizio Sarri, but is not a first-choice player.
However, after being rested for the mid-week clash with Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League, Barkley is expected to feature against Everton.
Silva spoke about the reception that he should expect during his pre-match press conference, and his admiration for the youngster’s abilities.
“I think it is easy for you to understand what type of players I like,” he said, as reported by Liverpool Echo.
“He is good football player, he is a technical player and normally I like the good football players.
“Coming from our Academy is also a good signal as a football club but he is no longer our player.
“We respect him as our former player, coming from our Academy but everything that we want is to beat him on Sunday.”