Ross Barkley suffers fresh career setback as he's axed from Europa Conference League squad
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Former Premier League star Ross Barkley has suffered yet another setback, although this one has come as something of a surprise.
Barkley announced himself as one of the brightest young talents in world football in the 2013/14 season, as he broke into the Everton first team and attracted interest from a host of top clubs.
In 2018 Chelsea finally managed to prise him away from Goodison Park, but the midfielder hardly lived up to expectations.
After struggling for form and consistency under several different managers, Barkley left the London club by mutual consent at the end of last season.
In early September he signed with French Ligue 1 side Nice as a free agent, and has since established himself as a useful squad player.
Although he joined Les Aiglons too late to be included in their squad for the group stage of the Europa Conference League, he has scored three goals and assisted another in 14 league appearances.
However, it appears that despite now being eligible and a key squad member, Barkley won't be making his European bow for his new club any time soon.
That's because Barkley has not been included in Nice's squad for the knockout stages of the Europa Conference League.
UEFA's rules permit clubs to register three new eligible players to play in the knockout stages of the competition, as long as the club's 'List A' of players does not exceed 25.
Nice signed striker Terem Moffi and midfielder Youssouf Ndayishimiye in January and added them to their squad, alongside youngster Badredine Bouanani who was promoted from the first team but was not eligible to be included on 'List B'. Barkley was reportedly expecting to be included.
Nice have a host of former Premier League stars in their ranks, including Aaron Ramsey, Kasper Schmeichel, Nicolas Pepe and Joe Bryan.
Since sacking manager Lucien Favre last month and bringing in Didier Digard, Nice have put together a string of fine results that have seen them rise from 11th to seventh in the table.