Ross Barkley insists he’s ‘very excited’ to play for Nice and plays down concerns over his fitness… despite his new manager Lucien Favre admitting he doesn’t know where his best position is!
- Ross Barkley is ‘very excited’ to be the new Number 11 at French side Nice
- The former Chelsea and Everton man has dismissed lingering fitness concerns
- Nice boss Lucien Favre recently said he did not know Barkley’s best position
Ross Barkley has said he is ‘very excited’ to play for OGC Nice – even if his manager doesn’t know his position.
The former Chelsea and Everton midfielder joined the French club this summer after the termination of his contract at Stamford Bridge.
The new number 11 was one of several former Premier League players joining Nice in recent weeks, including Aaron Ramsey, Kasper Schmeichel, and Arsenal loanee Nicolas Pepe.
Ross Barkley is ‘excited’ to be the new Number 11 for Nice after the end of his time at Chelsea
According to Get Football News France, the 28-year-old told reporters: ‘Nice is an ambitious club. They presented me with a project over multiple years. It is a club that wants to go far, that wants to be a big club at a European level.
‘I managed to speak with Dave Brailsford, who showed me the growth project at the club. Jim Ratcliffe also convinced me to come here to help the team progress.
‘I was also convinced by the coach, who is a big European-level coach, and who plays an attacking style of football. I have seen his former sides play and it’s something that guided my choice.’
It comes just days after Sportsmail reported that Nice boss Lucien Favre said he did not know Ross Barkley’s best position, telling reporters at a press conference: ‘I’m told he’s more of an eight.’
Nice boss Lucien Favre looked confused when asked for the best position of Ross Barkley
Barkley also dismissed fears about his fitness levels after not playing for the Blues this season before leaving England.
‘With Chelsea, I trained with the reserves at the start of the season,’ the England international said. ‘They were intense sessions. I feel very fit physically. I obviously didn’t play a lot last season, but I feel ready today.’
Barkley, who made 58 appearances for Chelsea between 2018 and 2022, was impressed with the past glories of his new club, and the supporters guiding them to victory.
Barkley, who played 58 games at Chelsea over four years, dismissed concerns about his fitness
‘Nice are a big club with a big history, that has won titles, that has qualified for European football numerous times in the past seasons, and that was a finalist in last year’s Coupe de France,’ Barkley said.
‘There is also a super, passionate fanbase. I am very excited to play here.’
Nice’s UEFA Conference League campaign started with a 1-1 draw against Koln on Thursday, before travelling to Ajaccio for their next Ligue 1 game on Sunday.