Speaking exclusively to Football FanCast, former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie believes Ross Barkley would be a good permanent addition to Dean Smith’s squad.
Barkley, who reportedly earns £96,000-a-week, is currently at Villa Park on a season-long loan from Chelsea and was able to make a huge impact earlier in the campaign.
The 27-year-old scored on his debut for the club in that incredible 7-2 win over Liverpool and managed to net the winner the game after, a 1-0 victory against Leicester City. However, since picking up a hamstring injury, Barkley’s form has dipped drastically, with Smith leaving him out of the side for trips to Newcastle United, Sheffield United, Leeds United and the visit of Wolves.
Nevertheless, Hendrie is still keen to see Barkley’s loan move become a permanent one, confident the England international has a lot to offer. He told FFC:
“Ross came into the club and he really hit the ground running. He got the fans onside straight away and he had a great connection with Jack. You know, there was a great little bit of balance in that team, he was scoring goals and then he picked up his injury.
“Ross Barkley is a fabulous player, that’s for sure. And, at this moment in time, because Villa are not playing well, it’s hard for him to really stand out and be that attacking threat and [have] that confidence that oozes out when you play well. So, for me, to keep Ross, I think it would be a good addition.“
Barkley has been one of Villa’s biggest attacking threats this season, bringing creativity to Smith’s side.
The attacking midfielder is currently averaging 1.7 key passes per league game, the second-highest average in the Villans’ squad (via WhoScored). Averaging 3.4 key passes per league game, only Jack Grealish is outperforming him in that area. Ultimately, buying Barkley outright from Chelsea is an avenue probably worth exploring.