Leighton Baines insists fans must be patient with Ross Barkley and allow the 20 year old to fulfil his potential. Barkley had appeared on course to go to the World Cup in Brazil this summer with England, after winning three caps in the last seven months, but is now fighting for a place in Roy Hodgson's squad.
"I didn't have the same sort of trajectory as what Ross has had," Baines told Sky Sports News. "Mine was a steady growth really and didn't miss out too many steps on the ladder.
"Ross has burst onto the scene and the spotlight was thrust upon him straight away. He is a top player and a top talent for the country.
"We sometimes have a tendency to do that with young players. I think that it is important that we sometimes give them a bit of time and leeway to develop.
"You don't have the consistency levels sometimes in your late teens and early 20s, you are still a really young player. You just need to give them time to develop.
"That is what the manager is doing with Ross. He gets runs of games and then comes out of the side sometimes, not always because of performance but because it is the right time for him and his development."
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