In a rather unexpected announcement by Aston Villa, Chelsea’s Ross Barkley has joined the club on a season-long loan for the remainder of the 20/21 season.
With the likes of Mason Mount, Kai Havertz and Ruben Loftus-Cheek battling it out for minutes in the number 10 role, one of the attacking midfielders had to make way.
And Barkley is the one who has moved to Villa Park in search of minutes on the pitch. The former Everton man swapped his Everton blue for a Chelsea blue in January of 2018.
Barkley has since gone on to play for Chelsea 86 times, and has scored, and set up 11 goals across all of his official appearances.
While those aren’t spectacular numbers, Barkley has struggled to establish himself as an undisputed starter in the Chelsea lineup.
His talent is undeniable, and the England-international will certainly be a valuable addition to Dean Smith’s Aston Villa, who have managed to keep hold of their star playmaker Jack Grealish as well.
With Barkley among their ranks, the midlands club could be set for an impressive season in the Premier League following their narrow relegation escape.
Arguably, Barkley has been better coming off the bench for Chelsea than starting games for them. The 26-year-old scored vital goals to lead Chelsea to silverware and can now apply his skills for Villa.
With another name departing the stacked Chelsea midfield, the Blues can begin a realistic pursuit of their long-rumoured target, Declan Rice.
Although their former academy product is not as sharp in attack, he could provide some great support to the backline.
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