The Blues snapped up the Englishman for £15m in January this year from boyhood club Everton.
The 24-year-old struggled to break into Antonio Conte’s first team though, also seeing his playing time restricted by a long-term hamstring injury.
However, the arrival of new boss Maurizio Sarri has breathed fresh life into the attacking midfielder, revitalising his Blues career.
Barkley has gone on to make 15 appearances in all competitions already this season, bagging three goals.
“I think we were all quite surprised that he picked Chelsea”
One of Barkley’s greatest achievements this term though is earning a recall to Gareth Southgate’s England team.
And Sky Sports pundit Nicholas is pleased to see Barkley’s return to form, although he admits the England international would also have flourished under Everton boss Marco Silva.
Speaking on how Barkley would have done under Silva, Nicholas said: “Probably well, I think it would have been a benefit for him.
“I think he likes those creative players.
Chelsea news: Ross Barkley’s move to Stamford Bridge was a ‘surprise’, according to Nicholas (Pic: GETTY)
Chelsea news: Barkley has begun the season in fine form (Pic: GETTY)
“But the lad had been drifting for a while, he’s been drifting along.
“I never really felt convinced he was understanding the situation or where he was going.
“I think we were all quite surprised that he picked Chelsea and if he was going to get in the team.
“It’s taken quite a bit of time and for a new manager to come in and say ‘I like your technical ability but you’ve got to move on’.
Chelsea news: Barkley’s recent performances have earned him a recall to the England team (Pic: GETTY)
“We were touching on it last week – maturing, being wiser about when to pass, when to be aware.
“That No 10 position playing against teams that don’t get a lot of possession is very difficult.
“You’re trying to force and make everything interesting when you can, but you’ve got to do the basics right.
“But the lad’s career has moved on, he’s back in the international setup and he’s playing very well at the moment. So the signs are good for him.”