Ross Barkley EXCLUSIVE: Chelsea midfielder models his game on manager Frank Lampard, having watched him on Match of the Day as a child
Barkley, 26, has played a key role for Chelsea since the Premier League restart with some crucial goals and assists.
It hasn't been all plain-sailing for the Merseyside-born midfielder since joining Chelsea from Everton in a £15million deal in January 2018, however - in fact from it.
Barkley's rather stop-start spell in west London hasn't come without controversy, with Lampard accusing the midfielder of 'a lack of professionalism' after he was pictured shirtless in a nightclub during the international break last November.
Lampard had already criticised Barkley for his part in a row with a Liverpool taxi driver over spilled chips two months prior to that incident.
To Barkley's credit, though, he has emerged as an important player throughout Lampard's maiden season in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard believes Barkley can be a 'big player' for Chelsea in the future, with the Blues goalscoring legend someone the playmaker holds in very high esteem.
"For me as a young player you look up to the likes of the gaffer for what he achieved," Barkley said ahead of Chelsea's clash with Sheffield United on Saturday - which is live and exclusive on GameDay on talkSPORT.
"Watching Match of the Day as a kid you were constantly seeing the gaffer score plenty of goals.
"Being a midfielder myself you modelled your game on the likes of the gaffer, Paul Scholes and Steven Gerrard - the England and Premier League legends."
On Lampard, he added: "The gaffer has a good relationship with all the players, including myself.
"He encourages us to play our game and in training he encourages us to get in the box as a midfield player, like myself, Ruben [Loftus-Cheek], Mason [Mount] to try and create goals and help out the team defensively as well."
You can hear the extended interview with Ross Barkley on Saturday as part of GameDay on talkSPORT. Coverage begins at 11am.
Ross Barkley modelled his game on Chelsea boss Frank Lampard having watched the Blues legend religiously on Match of the Day.