Joey Barton looks to be trying to engineer a move to Everton, the club he supported as a boy. This news came from the QPR player’s agent Willie McKay who said that the midfielder would be prepared to take a massive pay cut in order to join the Toffees. Marseille were keen to sign the troublemaker permanently but their fragile financial situation caused them to be turned down by Barton who wasn’t prepared to move to France on such modest terms. It is unknown whether Everton will make a move for the player but according to McKay, Roberto Martinez hasn’t ruled out the possibility of signing Barton.
During his spell in France he played in 25 League matches. Barton made three league assists while making 13 key passes in Ligue 1, which averaged at around 0.5 per game. He played the majority of his games in a holding role which led to his attacking contribution being limited. His pass success rate 81% is quite good but if he is to fit in to Martinez’ plans, he will have to improve on this as the Spaniard likes his teams to play a passing style.
His last season in the Premier League wasn’t short of controversy as he ended the season with a 12-match suspension for an embarrassing rampage against Manchester City in which he had run ins with three City players. This ended a poor season in which he could only lead his QPR side to 17th after joining in the summer of 2011 from Newcastle. In the 2011/12 season, he only managed a pass completion rate of 70.1% which fell to 65% in the final third. He did however create 63 chances which is good considering the position the club finished in. These chances led to three assists for Barton, he also netted on two occasions for the blue and whites in 31 matches.
His finest season in the Premier League was perhaps the 2010/11 season with Newcastle United in their first season back in the top flight. He started 32 matches and was predominantly used in a right midfield position. His creativity shone through as he made 9 assists while supplying the front line of Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan. Barton also starred in two of the best games in the Geordies’ recent history against Sunderland and Arsenal. During the four goal comeback against the Gunners, the midfielder held his nerve from the spot twice to lead Alan Pardew’s men to an almost impossible comeback. He created 83 chances, with 19 of these being clear cut which is 14 more clear cut chances than he created for QPR in the 2011/12 season.
Joey Barton will always be near controversy as that is the kind of man and player that he is. During his spell at Newcastle he: was jailed, punched Mortan Gamst Pedersen, grabbed Gervinho and fell out with club legend Alan Shearer. Despite this the fans supported him and he responded by producing his best football. He will always be hated by many fans across the country but he needs to play for a club with fans who understand him and support him. This will spur him on to play well for the team, he received support like this at Newcastle, Marseille and Manchester City at times, but QPR fans never gave him such backing. Everton have a passionate fan-base who will support Barton as he is one of them. If Barton is signed by Everton then he will succeed as it is the perfect place for him.
Joey Barton’s stats while on loan at Marseille were taken from WhoScored.