Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie has suggested that Dean Smith should have the final say over any permanent deal for Ross Barkley.
Barkley is currently on loan at Hendrie’s old side from Chelsea, and Football Insider are reporting that Villa CEO Christian Purslow is spearheading the move to bring in the attacking midfielder permanently.
However, according to the same outlet, Smith is not convinced that Barkley is worth the £35m that Chelsea are demanding for their player.
Purslow is said to like the profile of Barkley, and while Hendrie believes it is good to see the former Chelsea and Liverpool director wanting to get involved, he is convinced it is only right for Smith to have the final word. The ex-Villa man told FFC:
“This is where wires can get crossed. It’s great that Christian wants to be involved and wants to bring big players into the football club, but it’s got to be right for the football team and it’s got to be right for Dean because, at the end of the day, he’s the man that picks the team — he has the final say on things [team selection].”
Given Villa’s success this season, Smith may feel his voice deserves to be heard. After a campaign where they battled relegation, the Villans are now fighting for European qualification.
They also have one of the best defensive records in the Premier League, a stark contrast to last term. Taking all of that into account, whatever decision the Villa boss makes should probably be respected, with the 49-year-old clearly showing he knows what he is doing.