Ross Barkley has removed his tattoos.
Ross Barkley has removed his tattoos.

Tats got to go! Chelsea star removes ink

ROSS BARKLEY has added goals to his game but something is missing - his tattoos.

The England star grabbed an injury-time equaliser in Chelsea's 2-2 thriller with Manchester United just 13 days after his first strike for the club in a 3-0 win at Southampton.

Asked about his disappearing tatts, midfielder Barkley, 24, said: "I got them at a young age and sometimes when you are young you do stupid things and don't think about it.

"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'd never rule out getting another, maybe when I have kids I might have something done to go with that. I don't know."

Ross Barkley has had his tattoos removed.
Ross Barkley has had his tattoos removed.

It certainly seems Barkley is growing up as a player both for club and country.

He impressed in the Three Lions' 3-2 win in Spain and on Saturday afternoon took his chance by tapping home in stoppage time after replacing Mateo Kovacic with 21 minutes remaining at Stamford Bridge.

Asked whether this was the best few weeks of his career, the £15 million buy from Everton added: "Yes, I'd probably say so. I got a couple of goals and couple of assists and played well for England. It just shows to myself that hard work does pay off in the end.

"Getting in the England side and getting in two positive performances - and here with my first goal at Stamford Bridge - is fantastic.

Barkley came through the Toffees academy.
Barkley came through the Toffees academy.

"We have got a lot of competition in our squad and when you get your chance, you have got to take it. I believe that I am doing the right things.

"I believe I'm a better player now. I've matured, I understand the game much more, which can be natural as you grow up.

"I am at a big club now with a lot of expectation and fantastic players around me - and my performances are showing it."

Maurizio Sarri, still unbeaten as Blues boss, claimed he was not angry despite his side dominating the first half before falling 2-1 behind after the break.

He said: "If you play against Liverpool or Manchester United and make a mistake on the pitch, then it's clear what could happen. But we have made the same kind of mistakes in other matches."

Chelsea are unlikely to struggle at home to Belarussians BATE Borisov in the Europa League on Friday morning (AEST), even though Sarri will make a string of changes.

Then they hope to push on in the Premiership against Burnley and struggling Crystal Palace.

This story originally appeared in The Sun.