Ross Barkley reveals he has had his arm tattoos removed
Ross Barkley is reinventing himself
For so long, the narrative around Ross Barkley was that he was unfulfilled potential. He had all the tools, but something was holding him back. But this season he is kicking on under Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea, and has revealed how the Italian's coaching has helped him develop the tactical side of his game.
And it's not just his performances that have changed significantly. The midfielder has also made the decision to remove his tattoos, admitting that when he was young he would do "stupid things".
Speaking to the Times, Barkley explained his decision: “I got them at a young age and sometimes when you are young you do stupid things and not think about it.
“But I went into it too quick and over the years I felt I wanted to get them removed, so I went through the process in the last couple of years.
“My first tattoo was when I was 14. I was a bit young, like. I was a big lad so they didn’t question my age at the time. I started getting them removed a couple of years ago.
“I would never rule out getting another, maybe when I have kids I might have something done to go with that. I don’t know.”
For years, Barkley would wear a thermal undershirt, even in the heat of summer, presumably to hide the tattoos.
But he has recently returned to wearing short sleeves, as he makes a fresh start at Chelsea, who remain unbeaten this season thanks to his late equaliser against Manchester United at the weekend.
Barkley has also been given an England recall for the first time since Euro 2016 in recent weeks after impressing for Chelsea in a midfield trio, and played a key role in England's win over Spain in Seville.