Aston Villa transfers: Midfielder priced at £35m - The Verdict

Aston Villa midfielder Ross Barkley

Aston Villa loanee Ross Barkley will cost £35m to be signed permanently from Chelsea.

Following his departure from Everton, Barkley looked destined for greater things with the Blues.

However, life in west London didn’t quite go to plan and a loan move to Aston Villa was needed last summer to get his career moving again. 

Now spending the 2020/21 campaign at Villa Park, it had been reported that the Villans are looking to turn Barkley’s loan move into a permanent deal. 

However, a source at Football Insider has indicated that Aston Villa are hesitant to meet Chelsea’s £35m asking price. 

Prior to his hamstring injury, Barkley showed a lot of promise for Dean Smith’s side and even scored three goals on the bounce against Barnsley, Liverpool, and Leicester.

However, since his return in January, he’s struggled to recapture the same level of form. 

Furthermore, Dean Smith is reportedly unsure of Barkley’s designated position in the side and even dropped him for the Villans’ 1-0 victory over Leeds United. 

This has left the Villa boss in a quandary over what to do with Barkley – so, should Aston Villa meet Chelsea’s £35m asking price or not? 

GIVEMESPORT writers Tom Kelly, Jonathan Gorrie, Sam Brookes, and Josh Cole have their say… 

Tom Kelly

“Although Barkley has underwhelmed of late, I believe the quality is definitely there. His performances at the dawn of the season really illustrated what Barkley is capable of in a creative sense.

“During Aston Villa’s 7-2 triumph over Liverpool,  we saw both Barkley and Jack Grealish truly click with each other. The build-up play prior to Aston Villa’s fifth goal was rather impressive and demonstrates how their styles of play compliment each other. 

“£35m is a lofty price tag. However, if Smith is able to find a position for Barkley to operate alongside Grealish with consistent effectiveness, Aston Villa will be an extremely exciting team to watch.”

Jonathan Gorrie

This season has summed up Barkley’s career really rather well.

“After a promising start, the England international has been criticised for some of his performances of late and has failed to take the mantle of being the main man without Jack Grealish in the team following his recent injury.

“Indeed, the Villa captain looks levels above him at the moment and Barkley has done little to convince anyone he can carry the can.

“With that in mind, £35m seems steep. Morgan Sanson joined in January and is capable of playing further forward himself, so it’s not as if Villa desperately need bodies in attacking midfield, considering they usually line-up in a 4-3-3 too.

“While a talented player and someone who has proven capable of playing in this Aston Villa team when things are going well, £35m is a lot for someone who can’t offer an alternative to Grealish. Another loan move might make sense but, at this stage in his career, Barkley should be offering more.”

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Whose career is this?

Sam Brookes

“Ever since Barkley arrived on the scene as a teenager, he has had one major problem: consistency. Over the past decade, he has been a joy to watch when at his best. The issue has been that he has not produced the goods regularly enough.

“His future at Villa could hang on who leaves the club at the end of the season. If Jack Grealish departs, this could free up money for the club to make Barkley’s move a permanent one and leave an obvious void in midfield for him to try and fill. 

“Whilst £35m is a lot of money for Barkley, he’s still worth the risk. At 27, he ought to be approaching his peak, and having netted match-winning goals against Leicester and Southampton this season, he has shown that he can make a difference when at his best.”

Josh Cole

“Agreeing to sign Barkley for such an extortionate fee could turn out to be an error by Villa due to a number of reasons.

“Whilst there is no doubting the midfielder’s talent, a lack of consistency during his Premier League career has ultimately hindered his progress  as he has struggled to push on since leaving Everton for Chelsea in 2018.

“Following his summer switch from the Blues to Villa, Barkley has illustrated glimpses of his ability by netting winners against Leicester City and Southampton yet his issues with injuries still persist.

“When you consider that the England international has already missed eight games this season due to a hamstring issue, there is no guarantee that Villa will be able to keep him fit if they do sign him permanently.

“Thus, it may be wise for Dean Smith to invest his money elsewhere during the upcoming transfer window.”

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