Conte welcomes Barkley at Chelsea as Blues announce first January signing

The 24-year-old completed the move to West London on Friday and will wear the No 8 shirt

Barkley cited his own injury as the reason for the change of mind back then - he hasn't played all season in fact, after undergoing surgery in July - though it seemed like that he really wanted to join Spurs instead.

May's loss to Arsenal was the last Toffees appearance for the Everton academy graduate, who made 150 Premier League appearances for Everton, scoring 21 goals.

Chelsea agreed a deal to sign Barkley during the summer but the move fell through at the last minute.

According to the Telegraph, Barkley has been impressed by Chelsea's persistence to procure his signature and now has no hesitations to move to Stamford Bridge.

"To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea, it's unbelievable for..."

It is as a result of that hamstring problem that the 24-year-old England worldwide has not played a single minute of football so far in 2017/18.

A hamstring injury at the beginning of the current campaign has kept him out since August, which means he is eligible to play for Chelsea in all four competitions.

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Conte urged caution over expectations for Barkley.

Speaking ahead of Chelsea's FA Cup third round tie at Norwich on Saturday and prior to the deal being confirmed, Conte said: 'We are talking about an English player, a young player. Ross Barkley is a Chelsea player, good luck to him.

"He's very young, I think he has a lot of space for improvement, he's very strong physically with good technique", Conte told Chelsea's website.

"I think sometimes when you are at your home club, you can be there too long and you have to learn the different levels of the game".

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is now prospering on his season-long loan at Crystal Palace and fans desperately want him to see him in the Chelsea squad next season.

This is not necessarily a bad thing for Tottenham, however, what with Barkley's less than impressive injury record, and his inconsistent form over the past couple of years.

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