Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has received a big transfer boost this week…
The Midlands outfit have been heavily mooted with a move for Ross Barkley in recent weeks, having spent time on loan at Villa Park during the 2020/21 campaign.
The Daily Mail reported of Villa’s interest at the end of July and also claimed that the Toffees would not revisit their former midfielder, whilst journalist Pete O’Rourke told Football FanCast that “Gerrard will be well aware” of Barkley, his situation and his past stint at his old Merseyside rivals.
This now leaves the Villa boss with effectively a green light to seal a move for the one-time £15m man, should he still have interest in him. Barkley would not cost the Villa hierarchy, Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens, a penny in terms of a transfer fee, given he’s now a free agent.
So this is certainly great news for the manager but would he truly be a good signing?
In the early days at Goodison Park, the box-to-box midfielder earned comparisons to Wayne Rooney and Paul Gascoigne but now at 28, it’s evident that his career did not follow this path and he’s at a crossroads.
During his previous stint in the Midlands, The Athletic’s Gregg Evans dubbed him a “liability” but that was in Dean Smith’s system, a vastly different tactical setup to that of Gerrard.
It’s easy to see why he described the midfielder as that. After scoring in both of his opening two games for the club, Barkley struggled to continue his form throughout the 2020/21 campaign – his next 22 appearances saw just one goal and one assist.
Perhaps it could be down to Gerrard, one of the best midfielders to ever do it in the English top-flight, to get that sort of form back out of him. Either way, if his interest is genuine, there will not be a better time to swoop for him than now.