David Moyes confident of keeping Ross Barkley at Everton

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The Independent Football

Everton manager David Moyes is confident he can keep teenage prodigy Ross Barkley out of the clutches of bigger clubs in a way he could not with Wayne Rooney.

The Toffees' academy has produced plenty of talent for the first team over the last few years and Barkley, at just 17, is the latest.

Comparisons with Rooney, who made his debut at 16, are obvious and while the England international had only two seasons in the first team before Manchester United came in with a huge bid, Moyes is optimistic history will not repeat itself.

"Every club will want Ross Barkley because Ross Barkley is going to be an outstanding player," said the Scot.

"At the moment the only thing you've got to remember is that Ross hasn't played for us in two years.

"If someone comes for Ross I've always said it, it's expensive to buy off Everton in the main.

"If you're going to come and try to take our better players we don't sell cheap, that's for sure.

"I'm sure the bigger clubs will be looking at him, but we've no intention of selling him."

Moyes feels the club are in a much stronger position now with Barkley, who made his debut to rave reviews against QPR in August, than they were seven years ago with Rooney.

"I think we've got the team to carry Ross. The club is in a much better position," Moyes told evertonfc.com.

"You can at least say Everton are finishing in the top 10, whereas I think prior to that it hadn't been a regular thing for Everton to be in the top 10 really.

"I think now there's a level of expectancy where most people would expect us to finish near Europe, and we've been in Europe quite a lot.

"Can we carry someone like Ross now? Of course we can, maybe when we had Wayne I don't think we could hang onto someone of that talent at that period."

While Moyes is keen to hang on to his talented youngster the club's newest signing James McFadden, returning after three years at Birmingham, is looking forward to resuming his Everton career.

However, having not played for 13 months because of a cruciate knee ligament injury he knows he has some catching up to do.

"It's been difficult, obviously I missed all of last season and I've missed all of this season so far - it's been hard mentally and physically," the Scotland international told evertontv.

"But hopefully I'll come back mentally stronger and will be able to play as well as ever.

"I've been training for the last six weeks and everything feels fine. The next step is to play in a reserve game and try to get back in the first team as soon as possible.

"I'm glad I've got the chance to come back and I want to make my mark."