Even though the 2022 January transfer window has now opened, allowing clubs to bring new players in where they see fit, it seems as though Aston Villa have made their first big decision of the year by bringing a familiar face back to the Midlands club.
According to a recent Twitter post from Villa journalist Gregg Evans, it appears that Villa have recalled young striker Louie Barry from his loan deal with League One club Ipswich Town.
Despite saying in his tweet that Barry will now “return to train with the U23s” at Villa and that “another loan move will be arranged before the end of the month” for the 18-year-old, it could be worth Gerrard giving the teenager his chance to integrate himself in the senior squad.
Even though he only made six appearances for Ipswich since arriving back in early August, it may be beneficial for the player to get used to the training procedures and overall feel of what it’s like to be coached by Gerrard from now until the end of the season rather than go out to another club and risk not getting much playing time again.
Although there wouldn’t be a big chance of him playing regularly at Villa this season ahead of the likes of Ollie Watkins or Danny Ings given their experience at senior level, it could be argued that learning from these players and the manager would be useful for the young attacker in the long-term if he wants to get closer to breaking into the team.
Having been praised by former Arsenal and Crystal Palace striker Ian Wright after scoring a “clinical” goal against Liverpool in Villa’s 4-1 FA Cup defeat last year in his first and only senior appearance for the club, Barry could even be a useful option off the bench in some games, especially with reports linking Wesley with an exit from Villa Park this month.
Moving forward, whatever the club decides is the best next step for Barry, it’s safe to say that getting him out of Ipswich early was a good move and that he can now do something more constructive with his time, whether that be with Villa’s U23s or in the senior squad or at another club.
But if Johan Lange wanted to help Gerrard save some money in potential transfer fees this month, it could be worth the teenager staying at Villa Park and learning what he can in the senior squad.