Aston Villa signing David Brooks this summer could spell the end of Ross Barkley’s time at the club.
Reports in recent weeks have suggested that Villa are interested in signing Bournemouth ace Brooks, and Lee Hendrie recently threw his backing behind a move for the 23-year-old.
Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, he said: “I’m a big fan of David Brooks. I’ve seen a fair bit of him this season and he’s an absolute talent, he really is. He’s a young man with bags of ability and I think if he comes into Villa, I think he’d be a great addition.
“He reminds me of Jack (Grealish). He’s very slight, he’s very mobile and, again, he’s another player that could set the Prem on fire if he’s given a chance.”
After enjoying a fine start to his Villa career following his season-long loan move from fellow Premier League side Chelsea – he scored in his first two top-flight games for the club – it’s all been downhill for Barkley.
The England international has since bagged just one other time in the league, while he still only has one solitary assist to his name. It’s no surprise then that reports in recent weeks have claimed that Villa are not convinced over making Barkley’s move permanent, and it’s exactly why Dean Smith’s side must surely go for Brooks this summer instead.
He has managed eight goal contributions in 24 Championship games this campaign, and quite appealingly for Smith, he is able to play anywhere behind the striker.
That versatility should be music to the ears of the Villa boss, who has seen his side hit with injuries to numerous attacking players this season including the likes of Barkley, Jack Grealish, Trezeguet and Bertrand Traore among others.
Having the £16.2m-rated Brooks in his ranks would go a long way to addressing a lack of strength in depth, and it might just be the final nail in the coffin for any chance of Villa signing Barkley permanently.