“I think the club decided this investment for his contract, I think it is a good opportunity for the club to buy this player.”

Higginbotham says with Conte slightly tweaking his formation of late, Barkley will get more first-team opportunities.

And he reckons it could be a choice between him and Fabregas to slot alongside N’Golo Kante and Tiemoue Bakayoko in a three-man midfield.

“Well I think it’s interesting,” Higginbotham said.