30 September 2020 14:39
Aston Villa have signed Ross Barkley on a season's loan from Chelsea. The midfielder has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge and will hope to press his claims for an England place by playing regularly for Dean Smith's side. Villa had also shown an interest in taking Chelsea's Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan but Barkley was Smith's first choice. The move went through after being approved by Frank Lampard and ends any prospect of Loftus-Cheek heading to Villa Park on a temporary basis. Barkley has largely been a squad player since joining Chelsea from Everton in January 2018 and was unlikely to feature much this season.
Chelsea have plenty of competition for places in attacking midfield following the arrivals of Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz. Barkley, who has scored once in three appearances this season, was an unused substitute as Chelsea lost to Tottenham on penalties in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday. The 26-year-old needs regular games to earn a place in England's squad at next summer's European Championship. Villa have shown ambition since staying up last season, bringing in Bertrand Traoré, Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Martínez and Matty Cash, and are delighted to have landed Barkley. "Capturing a player of Ross's quality is a real coup for our club and I am certain he will thrive here and improve our team," Smith said.
For a long time at Everton Barkley was considered one of England's brightest prospects – being compared to Paul Gascoigne – but he's now 26 and needs to kickstart his career. He will hope to achieve this at Villa, who have enjoyed a strong summer of recruitment, adding key signings such as Matty Cash, Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Martinez and Bertrand Traore on permanent deals. Getty Images - Getty 1 Barkley leaves Chelsea having scored 11 goals and assisted a further 11 in 86 appearances Barkley follows on a loan basis and could make his Aston Villa debut against Everton's fiercest rivals Liverpool, with the reigning Premier League champions visiting Villa Park on Sunday. He is unavailable for Thursday's Carabao Cup visit of Stoke, having already played in the competition for Chelsea this season. Villa manager Dean Smith said: "Capturing a player of Ross's quality is a real coup for our club and I am certain he will thrive here and improve our team." The 26-year-old had made three appearances for the Blues, scoring once, this term.
Aston Villa have announced the signing of Ross Barkley on a season-long loan from Chelsea. Barkley moved to Stamford Bridge from Everton in January 2018 and has made 86 appearances for the Blues, scoring 11 goals. The England midfielder will be unavailable for Thursday's Carabao Cup visit of Stoke, having already played in the competition for Chelsea this season. Villa have won their opening two Premier League games and Barkley could make his debut against Liverpool on Sunday. The midlands club have already broken their transfer record to sign Ollie Watkins from Brentford in a deal worth up to £33million, and snapped up Bertrand Traore from Lyon for £17million earlier this month having spent £20million to bring goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal. The midfielder joined Chelsea from boyhood club Everton in January 2018 and has made 86 appearances for the Blues in all competitions, scoring 11 goals. However, with competition for places in our midfield particularly fierce, that was his only start in the opening matches of the season, as his two Premier League appearances both came from the bench. After a slow start to his Chelsea career due to injuries, Barkley signalled his return to fitness in his first full season with the club, memorably scoring our injury-time equaliser against Jose Mourinho's Manchester United at the Bridge. He also appeared in our successful Europa League campaign, scoring in the shoot-out victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in the semis and coming off the bench in the final against Arsenal in Baku.