Aston Villa boss Dean Smith praises attitude of Chelsea loanee Ross Barkley
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has given a glowing verdict on midfielder Ross Barkley, who joined the Midlands club in the summer window on a season-long loan from Chelsea.
With so much competition in the Blues midfield, manager Frank Lampard decided to sanction the loan exit of the 26-year-old and he’s joined Premier League rivals Villa for the year.
The 33-time capped England international will have personal aspirations to be involved next year in the European Championships and playing regularly will help him achieve.
He’s played three times since his move to Villa, scoring in back-to-back games in wins over Liverpool and Leicester City.
The attack-minded midfielder also played every minute in their recent defeat to Leeds United and he’s quickly established himself as a nailed-on starter at his loan club, who currently sit third in the league table.
Villa manager Smith has been massively impressed by the impact Barkley has made:
“He’s someone I felt we needed. I look at the Premier League and you need legs in your midfield area because you’ve got to cover a lot of ground in a game. Ross does that,” Smith said, as quoted by the Birmingham Mail.
“He’s got ambitions to get into the Euro squad at the end of the season. With the quality Chelsea have got they couldn’t guarantee anyone minutes. His work ethic and attitude has been tremendous. He brings us that added bit of quality that we needed.”
Nobody at Stamford Bridge is doubting Barkley’s ability, as he’s a player on his day that has proven he’s got top-class quality and his £15million (BBC) signing from Everton proved to be a good piece of business.
But Chelsea are looking to take the step now to get back to winning silverware and the arrival of Kai Havertz as the creative midfielder meant that the chances of Barkley playing regularly this season were slim.