West Ham United will need to pay a big fee to land Ross Barkley this summer if reports are to be believed…
That’s according to the Express & Star, who claimed the Chelsea midfielder is valued at £30m following a loan spell at Aston Villa this season. It’s thought that the west London outfit will look to shift him permanently this summer, and the Irons have been linked with him in recent months.
The Telegraph‘s John Percy mooted the London Stadium as a ‘realistic option’ for the 27-year-old next season, with David Moyes understood to still be a big fan of the player to whom he gave a debut in August 2011 aged just 17.
Midfield is just one of several areas that the Scotsman will need to bolster ahead of a Europa League campaign next season, but you would have to imagine that the England international is merely an alternative choice to loan sensation Jesse Lingard as they both play the same role.
The Hammers hope to secure a permanent deal for the Manchester United outcast this summer, although doubts still remain over their chances of making that happen after the Daily Mail suggested that they could struggle to afford his wage demands.
In terms of viable alternatives, Barkley just isn’t the answer, and that’s before factoring in his extortionate asking price.
The former Everton star has been on a steady decline in recent years and his time on loan to top-flight rivals Villa has been a microcosm of his woes.
As per Transfermarkt, the attacking midfielder looked to be back to his best when registering three direct goal contributions in his opening five matches for the Midlands side but, in the 21 games after that, he delivered just one further goal. Injuries have played their part, too, and that should further put Moyes off splashing £30m on him.
Speaking about Barkley’s poor performances and struggles, The Athletic’s Gregg Evans delivered a damning verdict to their 1874 podcast, where he said [via This Is Futbol]: “He doesn’t do enough for me now. I’ve seen enough of Ross Barkley now to realise that he’s becoming a bit of a liability for Villa. He’s not helping out enough as he should, really.”
By comparison, Lingard joined the east London club in January and registered a whopping nine goals and five assists in only 16 appearances, via Transfermarkt. The 28-year-old is a similar age and plays in a similar position to Barkley, yet is evidently so much clearer ahead in terms of ability and consistency.
Moyes may well think he could be the right man to get the best back out of the £18m-rated Chelsea flop, especially considering he once claimed that the Toffees graduate would become an “outstanding player” who “every club will want” when speaking to The Telegraph in 2011, but that ship has certainly sailed now.
Considering the £30m asking price and his £100,000-per-week wages, the Hammers boss must steer clear of his former star, otherwise he risks playing with a potential catastrophe at the London Stadium.