Everton manager David Moyes has said he is ready to send Ross Barkley out on loan again in order to aid his development.
Moyes sent the 19-year-old midfielder to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday in September, but recalled him two months later to provide cover for injuries.
The Goodison Park manager said Barkley needed to get regular football elsewhere before he could be ready to play for Everton on a regular basis.
The midfielder is likely to play in Monday’s FA Cup third round tie at Cheltenham, to be screened live on ESPN, but Moyes says it is currently difficult to play him in high-pressure Premier League games because of his lack of experience.
The manager told the Liverpool Echo: “We have to remember he is a young boy and we’re bringing him on.
“He missed a bit of football, but I will continue to edge him nearer to our first team. When the right opportunities come and I think it’s the right time, I will do that.
“If I don’t get him enough of them, I will put him back on loan. That’s my thoughts. Probably people can see where he is needing the games and where he is still needing more experience.
“The boy is going to be a very good player, but he is still young and we have to be wary of that.
“We’ve no problem with boys making mistakes, but you don’t want to make mistakes that cost the team, especially when we are in such a good position.”
Moyes said he believed Barkley had benefited from his two months at Wednesday, during which he played 13 games and scored four goals.
“He came back a much better player,” he explained. “He had more maturity about him, and the games did work for him and help him.
“We have to remember he is just 19 and we should not expect too much too soon.
“Some come on sooner than others. Players develop at different times. Because we developed the likes of Wayne Rooney and Jack Rodwell, there’s a clamour to see it again, but they’re not all the same. They come along in different ways.”