That was then, this is now, as the 24-year-old inked a five and a half year deal reportedly worth £15.
Many have questioned whether Barkley is good enough, but the fact Chelsea and Tottenham were battling for his signature, suggests that some very good judges in the game believe he is.
Barkley, who had been with boyhood-club Everton since the age of 11, made a total of 179 appearances for the Toffees, scoring 27 goals in the process.
Barkley told the Chelsea website: "I'm overwhelmed, I'm looking forward to it and I'm really excited to get started".
'He's very young. He has a lot of space for improvement.
"For Chelsea also it would be positive to buy English players because we lost important players like John Terry, Frank Lampard from this club, this country".
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'He possesses outstanding technical and physical attributes, matched with good experience of the Premier League and a strong desire to succeed at the highest level.
"For sure he is a good prospect for Chelsea".
Premier League champions Chelsea have been linked with a shock move for an Everton star as they look to bolster their squad in this transfer window.
Conte had expressed his opinion to the Chelsea hierarchy and left them to do the negotiationsm but has been a big fan of Barkley for a long time.
The Italian added: 'Don't forget he had a bad injury, he had surgery.
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'We must have great patience.
He added: 'The recruitment is not my job.
Conte plans to rotate his options for Saturday's trip to Norwich.
Barkley had less than six months remaining on his Everton contract to throw up the possibility of the Toffees losing their home grown talent for nothing next summer.
Charly Musonda is available following a groin problem.
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